Sunday, July 7, 2013

Child prostitution is high in Bulawayo with 13 year-old girls having S*X with 10 different men every night

CHILD prostitution is rife in Bulawayo with a number of children aged between 13 to 17 dropping out of school due to poverty and peer pressure to join the oldest profession in the world, Sunday News can reveal. According to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is anyone younger than 18.

An investigation by a Sunday News crew with the assistance of concerned revellers, revealed that child prostitution not only exists in the second capital of Zimbabwe but is thriving in the city centre.
The child prostitutes can be found in downtown nightclubs that were once the flavour of the town. These dingy nightclubs have no stringent security measures to bar people under the age of 18 from being admitted into the nightspots. The establishment of new flamboyant nightspots has seen the older prostitutes changing base, leaving the young girls to claim the former major s*x spots of the city as theirs.
Child prostitutes who were interviewed said they escaped the clutches of the law by bribing policemen who arrest them for loitering and under age drinking.
When our crew entered one bar along 13th Avenue, it was met by a sea of child prostitutes who outnumbered their older counterparts, possibly by two to one. Some of the child prostitutes could be seen negotiating with clients some of whom were old enough to be their parents.
Those who had money to burn, were abusing alcohol and dancing on the dance floor.
Most of the child prostitutes stood on walls as they patiently waited for potential clients to approach them. Others were idly sitting on chairs and looked bored that potential clients were few (the busiest nights for prostitution are Thursday, Friday and Saturday).
Some of the child prostitutes who were confident with their charm, approached our crew and unashamedly offered s*x in exchange for money. They revealed that short time costs $5 and an all night $20. Asked why their charges were similar with those of their older counterparts who are more experienced, the girls said they make up for lack of experience with their adolescence.
“Leyi ifresh (this one is not old, it’s new),” one of the girls said touching her groin area.
Pretending to be clients, our undercover journalists were taken to a hotel along 13th Avenue where rooms for s*x cost as little as $5 for a short time. For a night session of s*x, one has to pay $20 for a single bedroom and $25 for a double-bed.
No efforts are made by the hotel staff to hide that they offer prostitutes and clients rooms to have s*x. Due to fact that room keys usually get lost, one has to pay $1 as surety. A receipt is issued and that receipt is used by the client get back the $1 when checking out.
The single rooms have a sponge mattress, a dirty brown blanket and a not-so-white worn out sheet that is soiled. There is also a trash can where used condoms are disposed. There is no toilet so clients have no choice but to urinate in the sink that only has cold water running. Women have to climb on a chair so that they can urinate into the sink.
A wall mirror is also provided so that the prostitute and client can fix themselves up after s*x.
After a tour of the rooms, the Sunday News crew went back to the bar to gather more information. Buying alcohol like no man’s business and disguised as a bunch of youthful men who had money to burn, the crew was approached by four girls who were 16 and below. The girls offered s*x for alcohol.
After the girls drank a few pints each of their favourite beer — Black Label — they opened up and revealed why they had decided to drop out of school to be prostitutes.
One girl, the youngest, said she was a prostitute because her sisters are prostitutes.
“All of my sisters are prostitutes so I had no choice but to join them. They used to leave me at home alone at night. I decided to drop off school because they were no longer prepared to pay my school fees. But I do not regret anything because I am making money, I feed myself and I buy my own clothes,” she said.
  • Girls as young as 13 in vice trade
  • Some have five to 10 clients a night
  • Poverty and peer pressure major driving forces
  • All of them are school dropouts
  • Substance abuse rife
  • Children exploited by local men and paedophiles


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