Are Claims That Zimbabweans Are Selling Their Toes True?

By Amos Lumbasi

This post was shared by Helio Sicueia claiming that selling toes has a lucrative market  in Zimbabwe. This account goes on to say that a thumb for instance costs as much as  USD40,000, USD25,000 for the medium toe and USD thousand dollars and USD10,000 for the small toe Ninguinho.

Since then individuals have even  gone as far as creating  YouTbe posts titling them as leaked toe selling business video clips in Zimbabwe.

The claims continued to spread on social media after a Zimbabwean national took to Twitter to post a video of himself saying he had sold his toe to buy a Toyota Hilux GD-6 pick-up.

In the video clip, the man is seen getting into the vehicle and telling people to sell their toes if they need quick wealth.

In addition, this website  from Nigeria went ahead to make a publication suggesting  that Zimbabwean millionaires are buying toes from poor nationals in the same country, offering them nearly USD40,000 or a brand new automobile in exchange for publicly cutting their toes.


According to The Herald, a Zimbabwe-based national newspaper, the Zimbabwean government dismissed the claims that they were a hoax with the aim of tarnishing the country’s image.

“As a government, we researched the issue, and we realized that it is false,” said the deputy minister of information, Kindness Paradza. “These social media reports are aimed at tarnishing the country’s image,” he added.

The Herald further quoted dealers in Harare who equally dismissed these claims. They went ahead to remove their shoes to prove they have all toes and that they were not involved in the alleged business. 

 A google advanced search shows the earliest post supporting these claims was first posted on May 31, 2022. This search further established that publications supporting these claims were neither covered, run nor published by any reliable mainstream media house in Zimbabwe, between May 28, 2022 and June 1, 2022. 

The same claims have moreover been debunked in fact-checks by PolitiFact and  AFP.


Based on the above evidence and media reports, these claims are FALSE.

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