Claim: Viral social media posts claim Zimbabweans are selling their toes for money.
Zimbabwean Deputy Information Minister, Kindness Paradza, says investigations show no such thing is happening in the country. Reports also indicate that David Kaseke, the Zimbabwean who first posted the claim, is facing criminal nuisance charges for making and circulating same.
Social media has been set ablaze after pictures and videos went viral indicating that Zimbabweans are selling their toes for money.
The claim is widespread in other countries and has gained popularity in the Ghanaian space as well.
One of the most recent is a post from Radio Tamale 91.7, a radio station in Tamale in the Northern Region shared on its Facebook page. The post has received over 800 likes and has been shared over 200 times.
“In Zimbabwe, people have started selling their toes for thousands of dollars due to high cost of living. Each toe goes for around $20000-$40000 depending on size,” the post reads.
We run a quick reverse image search on some of the pictures that are purported to be toes that have been cut for money in Zimbabwe.
It was captioned “Amputation of all toes of a diabetic man’s foot, diabetic foot, shampoo. Diabetes. Close up. Selective focus.”
Another viral photo accompanying the claim, also found on the website of the Medical Arts Resources, an organization that works with patients who are missing part of the face or body due to several diseases and that creates exceptionally life-like custom prostheses.
A Zimbabwean government official has debunked the claim. In a report published on June 2, 2022, by The Herald, which describes itself as one of Zimbabwe’s leading newspapers, the Zimbabwean Deputy Information Minister Kindness Paradza, is quoted to have labelled the claim as false.
“As Government we did research on this issue and we realised it is false. These are social media reports aimed at tarnishing the image of the country,” said Deputy Minister is quoted to have said.
The newspaper further reported on June 7 that a cellphone dealer at Ximex Mall in Harare, David Kaseke, has been charged with criminal nuisance for making the viral claim and is expected to appear in court.
There is no evidence that Zimbabweans are selling their digits.