Desperate to fund their education, Zimbabwean students studying in universities in north Cyprus are engaged in dangerous activities which include drug trafficking, prostitution and gambling, reports said.
According to Zimbabwe’s Daily News, the country’s parliament warned there was need for intervention as some students had been jailed in the Turkish Cypriot breakaway state for various offences committed out of their desperate situation.
The story was picked up by Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today, which ran it under the headline Conned students in ‘dire’ situation.
The chairman of the foreign affairs committee said there are about 4,800 Zimbabwean students in north Cyprus, “some went there through bogus agencies and were promised non-existent scholarships.”
“Some went there with false information and because of that, they got there and started involving themselves with drugs, in prostitution, others are marrying other nationalities for convenience.”
Some were also arrested for drug trafficking, chairperson of Foreign Affairs committee, Kindness Paradza told the Daily News.
The committee was looking to send a delegation to the north, through Turkey, to find out what was going on.
The paper quoted an unnamed student who said they could not get a job because of high unemployment.
The student also claimed Zimbabwean girls were dating men for money and were even engaging in unprotected sexual activities.
Women of all ages were affected and they were working in brothels, as strippers, in lap dancing clubs, and on sex phone lines, Daily News said.