1000 youths scramble for 20 cleaning vacancies

MORE than 1,000 Zambian and Zimbabwean youths from Siavonga and Kariba town, among them university graduates, yesterday thronged the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) offices in Zimbabwe to seek employment as cleaners at the multinational regulatory company.

The Kariba border post, which is usually empty due to low traffic between Zambia and Zimbabwe, was by as early as 06 hours jammed with job seekers from Siavonga and surrounding areas who were found processing border passes to cross into Zimbabwe for interviews as office orderlies.

The job interviews, which were originally slated for Monday, were moved to Thursday after ZRA officers failed to control the multitude of people who had camped outside their premises to submit their job application letters.

Job seekers, who lined up the entire Mahombekombe road in Kariba town where the ZRA mechanical workshop and offices are located in Zimbabwe, were answering to an advertisement by the river authority that intended to recruit 20 sweepers and cleaners.

The financial and economic meltdown in Zimbabwe coupled with the depletion of fish in Lake Kariba has left many people, especially youths, jobless in Kariba Town in Zimbabwe while lack of industries in the resort town of Siavonga has rendered many youths destitute.

The high unemployment levels has also forced many youths especially girls in the two communities to venture into prostitution and other dangerous vices that puts them at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

The Zambezi River Authority, which is co-owned by Zambia and Zimbabwe, is said to other goodconditions of work and pays its low ranking employees such as office orderlies and sweepers better than what an average Government school teacher or nurse gets in the two neighboring countries.

The company, which oversees and regulates usage of water in the Zambezi River, will employ over 500 people from both Zambia and Zimbabwe when it launches its US$294 million Kariba Dam wall rehabilitation project which will be undertaken over 10 years.