Chaos at a government jobs fair in economically troubled Zimbabwe underscores desperation for work

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A stampede at a government-organized job fair involving hundreds of young people in Zimbabwe desperate for work left some limping and others screaming in pain after being stomped on or beaten by security guards Wednesday.

The chaos came as job seekers rushed to register for potential vacancies, but no serious injuries were reported.

The crush of people illustrated the growing distress over the lack of formal jobs in the southern African nation of 15 million people, which has been hit by long-running economic problems. Hundreds turned up for the fair in the capital, Harare, holding envelopes with their resumes and college certificates. They were hoping to be registered on a database of job seekers.

People stomped on each other in the rush to access a large hall where the registration was taking place. Security guards used batons to restore order, but people still surged forward.

Last month, 31 people died in a crush at a military recruitment event at a stadium in the Republic of Congo as large crowds of young people gathered to register to join the army, one of the few institutions in that country still offering employment.


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