Dealers at Ximex Mall in Harare central business district (CBD) claim they have been inundated with inquiries from strangers who want to know how they could get in touch with people who allegedly buy toes.
Over the past few days, social media platforms have been awash with claims of a booming bizarre trade in which people sell their toes, with a single toe allegedly worth tens of thousands of United States dollars.
The dealers at Ximex Mall who spoke to H-Metro on Monday described the inquirers as mostly men in their 30s, who want to become “mbingas” (the league of the big spenders). A dealer who identified himself as Ngirozi Yehondo, said:
I was approached by a man who claimed he was coming from Mazowe and he had come to sell off one of his toes.
We told him it was only a story for social media and he must be careful whom he trusts.
There were also reports of two friends who came offering the toes.
Another dealer told the publication that he was forced to switch off his phone after receiving numerous inquiries from people eager to sell their toes. He said:
I don’t know how they got my number but I was forced to switch it off and lost potential deals because people were asking me about how they could benefit from selling their toes.
I honestly think this is just a myth and people should learn to work hard as we do here, pano tongoita madhiri mamwe anonyudza mamwe uchitobuda ne$5 profit but havazvizive (here we only conduct our deals, some of which fail but others can give us US$5 profit, just that people are unaware).
I have been operating here for the past 21 years and to me, nothing adds up to this toes story.
I started off as a cellphones dealer, moved to clothes, forex and now swapping cars for cash or something else and hapana chigunwe changu chakaenda (I haven’t lost a single toe). These are just rumours.
Messages have been circulating on social media sites claiming that toes are fetching various amounts, ranging from US$40 000 (big toe), US$25 000 (middle toe), to US$10 000 (small toe).
While some people claim people involved in the toes for cash “business” are dabbling in Satanism, others believe the whole issue is a social media hoax and that there is no substance behind the rumours.