Politics & General News

Gweru sex workers turn innovative

New times call for new thinking” and “desperate situations call for desperate measures” these two English adages sound true for Commercial sex workers operat- ing at Mtapa shop- ping center who for sometime now have discounted their services to US$2 due to the economic strive associated with the first month of the year. nabidtomakeends meet, the thigh ven dors now accept groceries as a form of payment for their sexualservices.Sex workers who spoketo this reporter said there was so much economic strife associated with the month of January hence the reduction of prices andthe acceptance of food items as payment.”Our industry is now stiff as most of our customers are more focused on the back-to- school expenses, while oth- ers are yet to receive salaries since the end of the festive season.”Also the number of pros- titutes in the area has in- creased in a short period of time, we now face stiffer competition from those op- erating in Gweru Central Business district (CBD), if they charge less we are also forced to comply. I am sure you know what that means, the more the product the lesser the price,” laughed Amai Jayden who renders services in Mtapa.Another thigh vendor who identified herself as Dorca, said USD$2 was affordable for most youths who are their major clients.”Hazvibatsire kudhurisa, Iko mari yacho kusina, Sakazvirinane kuwana shoma iyoyo, kana rice iroro”(it’s better to charge less money, half a loaf is better than noth- ing”) explained Dorca.Speaking about the risks associated with their trade one sex worker who identi- fied herself as Melody Chuma said the streets are harsh and unbearable.”The streets are rough we are facing all forms of abuse, some don’t even want to use protection simply because they will be bidding money. At the end of the day, you discover that we are at risk of contracting diseases. Sometimes other clients refuse to pay and some can even beat you for no reason. We have grievances but we don’t have anywhere to re- port,” she saidLate last year the Interna- tional Network of Religious Leaders Living with or per- sonally Affected by HIV and Aids (INERELA) held aworkshop with commercial sex workers encouraging them to work with their hands, and engage in in- come generation projects like poultry, vending so that they could live differently.Mtapa is a high-density suburb and prostitution is on the increase with a lot of school leavers joining the trade.Drug abuse has also be- come rampant in the suburb and many ghetto youths have found solace in Crys- tal Menthol popularly known as Dombo, Buwe or Guka.”Our industry is now stiff as most of our customersare more fo- cused on the back-to-school expenses, while others are yet to receive salaries since the end of the festive season.

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