Some homeless children removed from the streets by authorities under measures to contain Covid-19, have escaped from a safe house in Mt Hampden on the outskirts of Harare and are back to begging on the streets.
The children, together with hundreds of other homeless people, were moved to three centres on the outskirts of the capital to minimise the risk of them contracting the virus.
However, some juveniles who were accommodated at Mt Hampden, Ruwa Rehabilitation Centre and Jamaica Inn Training Centre for Rural Women said they had no regrets about returning to the streets.
One of the children who identified himself as TK said: “I feel I’m better off in the streets where I can make a little money to buy myself food.
“Besides, we are not sure what Government plans to do with us once the lockdown period is done. Maybe they intend to send us back to the very homes that we escaped from.”
Another child who went by the name Tinashe said: “The food rations we were getting at the safe houses were too little. It’s better when we fend for ourselves out here in the streets.”
He said it was important for the Government to equip the children with vocational skills after the lockdown period.
“I want to be a motor mechanic and be able to fend for my family,” said Tinashe. “My wish is for us to be given such skills at these safe houses.”
Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavima, said Government was working on re-orienting the homeless children.
Prof Mavima said security measures were being put in place at safe houses to ensure occupants did not escape.