By Ebi Kesiena
A stampede at a government-organised jobs fair involving hundreds of young people in Zimbabwe desperate for work left some limping and others screaming in pain, after being stamped on or beaten by security guards on Wednesday.
The chaos ensued as eager job seekers rushed to register for potential vacancies, reflecting the deepening distress caused by the scarcity of formal job opportunities in the economically challenged country of 15 million people.
According to local media in the capital, Harare, hundreds gathered for the fair, clutching envelopes containing their resumes and college certificates, all aspiring to be added to a database of job seekers.
People stamped on each other in the rush to access a large hall where the registration was taking place.
Amid the surge, people ended up stamping on each other, prompting security guards to use batons in an attempt to restore order. Despite their efforts, the crowd continued to push forward.
Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported in the aftermath of the chaotic episode. This incident sheds light on the escalating challenges faced by Zimbabweans due to prolonged economic difficulties and a dearth of formal employment opportunities.
This unfortunate event comes on the heels of a similar tragedy last month in the Republic of Congo, where 31 individuals lost their lives in a crush during a military recruitment event. Large crowds had gathered to register for enlistment in the army, one of the few avenues still providing employment in the country.