Sex workers prey on school boys

HIGH school boys are flocking to prostitutes were they use their allowances to pay for sex.

Two sex workers, Paida and Titha, revealed in an interview with a local online television channel ZimdiTV that they did not care about a person’s age but only the money offered.

“Hakuna dhibhi remhuru... the school boys are the ones who have cash these days. When they go to school, their pockets will be full,” Paida said.

“They do come to us but not wearing uniforms, some are even walking around with clothes in their bags because it’s a crime to engage with school children and we know it. So if they are in their home clothes, we do not ask them their age, why would I ask? I only want your money.”

As the economy bites, the sex workers say they are now charging as low as $1 per day.

“We charge according to the look and especially in a bar, I will analyse how you are buying alcohol. For short time, our charge is $5. There are certain instances however where you stand on the touchline for a long time, especially these days.

“And then you realise it’s almost morning and you don’t have any money, so you end up just charging $1 or $2. So if I hit four or five short-times, at least I will go home with something and buy bread, than just leaving the money go,” Titha said.

They said they had also reduced their night charges to $20 from $25 as a result of the economic situation, but were flexible even to negotiate it further down.

Paida got into sex work in 1995 while Titha joined the industry in 2013. She had also shared the downside of the industry, especially for newcomers.

They, however, said there were a lot of problems in the industry, where newbies are exploited or assaulted because they do not know how to negotiate for condoms or money.

“It is because they don’t know how to stand their ground and even negotiate for condoms. Some of them get beaten just for asking for their money,” Paida said.

The Health ministry, however, is concerned about sex workers, as they consider them as a key population in the spread of HIV.

But Titha and Paida said they had a “no condom-no sex” policy and even use female condoms to protect themselves as some men were not keen on using condoms

“I can say we are safe as we get information from organisations such as Katswe Sistahood, so that helps us understand more about sexually transmitted diseases,” Paida said. “Nurses used to ignore us but now they know us and are more open.”

Health minister David Parirenyatwa earlier this year said that people must not be shy to talk about sex work so as to deal with the spread of HIV.

“The third tap is what we call sex workers, their prevalence is 35 percent and it’s there, people are doing it. If we skirt around saying you are shy to talk about sex workers, we will not win. So let’s address it, how do we close that tap of transmission in that group?” Parirenyatwa said. —Bridget Mananavire [GoogleAd]

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