An influx of commercial sex workers at Murewa Centre has resulted in so much competition for clients that prostitutes are accepting payment in kind.
REPORT BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
A recent visit by Standardcommunity at the centre in Mashonaland East province, showed that some young and desperate hookers were selling their bodies for maize-meal, chicken, sugar or milk to enable them to get by.
The sex workers said they had resorted to “barter trade” out of desperation because their clientele base was too small, making competition very tough.
A sex worker who only identified herself as Mandy, said there were too many women chasing a few men.
“Business is no longer viable these days. I think there are too many prostitutes as compared to the men. Some even come from Harare and Marondera to try their luck here,” said Mandy. “On a blessed night, I can go home with US$10 while sometimes we go home empty-handed.”
But some of the patrons at the centre expressed concern that the influx of sex workers in the area would have a negative impact on their children.
Munyaradzi Ndanga, who owns a bar at the centre, said unemployment was driving young women into prostitution to survive.
“Because of desperation, young girls turn to prostitution to earn a living,” said Ndanga. “The number is increasing and we have some women who come from as far as Uzumba, Mutawatawa and other areas, especially during weekends.”
In an interview during a birthday bash hosted by musician Jah Prayzah in Uzumba recently, local MP Simbaneuta Mudarikwa admitted that unemployment was a major problem in his constituency.
He said they were setting up an irrigation scheme in the area so that youths could benefit from the project and stop indulging in delinquent behaviour.
“We are building an irrigation scheme that will see many unemployed youths benefiting, thereby desisting from bad means of finding money,” he said.