By Leafias Mazviro
An exclusive investigative report which was conducted by the Review and Mail Newspaper pointed out that prostitution is now a dominating profession due to harsh living standards, which are being caused by the mad economic situation experienced by many Zimbabweans.
Prostitution is regarded as unlawful according to Zimbabwean culture, norms, and values and is regarded as demonic according to the beliefs of Christians and Muslims, among other religions.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing difficulties in its economy, from inflation, shortages of foreign currency, a high rate of unemployment, and mad prices in shops.
Women and young girls are among the victims of this harsh economic situation which led them to be in the prostitution industry.
Speaking in an interview with one of the sex workers, Chipo, not to mention the real name, told the Review and Mail reporter that she was not willing to be a prostitute, but the economic situation forced her into the o industry.
“Yes, I’m a sex worker, but you should know that I was not willing to be a prostitute.
“All of you, you know how the situation is right now. Before the inflation hit the economy, l was selling clothes in my shop, but due to inflation, I failed to operate in such a very difficult situation which forced me to close my shop and venture into this new business,” she said.
She is operating in avenues with her other workmates, and she said she lied to her husband that she was working in the central business district (CBD) while she was selling her body.
“I lied to my husband that I had found a new job in town, so I woke up early morning and did all my house chaos as usual because I work during the day; I do not work at night.
“And my husband trusted me so much because, by the end of every month, I put money on the table. I provide all groceries, school fees, and dressing as well.
“I cannot go to work for someone who will pay me Rtgs dollars which will not even pay school fees for my kids.
“I make US$50 a day, and I charge US$10 per service; however, some complain that the charge is too much, so we ended up charging $5 or $7and we don’t charge local currency as payment for the service,” she added.
The Review and Mail team visited the area of Mbare known as Majubheki, where they had a very disturbing interview with young girls who are selling their bodies for money.
These young girls in this industry alluded to their grievances siting, why they joined this business, siting that economic hardship is the most reason behind all this.
Speaking to one of these young girls, Natasha, not to mention her real name, she said she lost her parents when she was very young, and she ailed to find someone who could comfort her with her two other siblings, gs.
“I do not have any other source of income, so I decided to sell my body to others in exchange for money, meal, and groceries.
“I charge US$0.50 or US$1 per service, and we don’t select whether foreign currency or local currency,” she said.
She added that she is facing some challenges of not being paid after services because some threaten her that they may kill her if she complains that they did not pay her.
“I think the government should intervene in our situation, creating some projects which might help us to stay away from these dead practices.
“But if the government fails to react, we will suffer so much, so there is no other way but to continue doing the same thing,” she added.
Review and Mail team managed to speak with girls in the streets of Harare, where they spoke all their grievances about why they do prostitution.
The observation shows that life on the streets is difficult and sometimes even dangerous, especially for the young and more so for girls in particular.
It is survival of the fittest, and to survive, the older boys normally form gangs and have specific areas that they control in terms of scavenging for food, begging from motorists, finding good places to sleep, and sometimes lucrative places for stealing from the thought young girls and vulnerable street kids are therefore forced to belong to a particular gang if they want to have it easy on the streets, and some pay these gang leaders with sex.
The gang leaders offer protection and freedom around their areas of control, and in return, they get a share of the takings that the other street kids bring, which include money begged or stolen and food scavenged.