Thursday, September 23, 2021
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Chiredzi nurses, doctors fingered in illegal abortion trade

Beatific Gumbwanda 
CHIREDZI – Local commercial sex
workers have briefed various parliamentary portfolio committees and claimed
that local nurses and doctors were carrying out illegal abortions many of them
on child sex workers driven into the vice by poverty.

They also accused the police of mishandling cases to do with sex work, saying women
in the illegal trade were being victimised.
The committees that visited
Chiredzi on a fact-finding mission through a consultative forum on sexual and
reproductive health were Health; Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as
well as Women Affairs.
This was after Marko Shoko,
a resident and social activist, petitioned Parliament on the upsurge in child
prostitution in Chiredzi.
The committees that came as
a team comprised the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Ruth Labode,
Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs chairperson
Misheck Mataranyika, acting chairperson of Women Affairs Portfolio Committee,
Brian Dube, and Bulawayo proportional representation Member of Parliament (MP)
Jasmine Toffa.
The meeting was attended by
many people including sex workers, the police’s Victim Friendly Unit,
representatives from Right Here Right Now as well as several civic groups and
government departments.
Paidamoyo Manika, a youthful
sex worker, said some young girls were driven into the trade by the conduct of
their mothers who bring in boyfriends in their presence while others are pushed
in by poverty and orphanage.
“Some of us saw the
experiences of our mothers making what we thought was easy money by selling
their bodies. We then took the business to be lucrative. Others join after
being kicked out by their mothers who consider them old enough to fend for
themselves as their presence at home is considered a distraction against their
sex work,” said Manika.
Rosemary Chiguvi said other
sex workers joined the trade due to orphanage or after being left by their parents
who migrated to South Africa to look for work.
“Some of the children
we meet in this work are bread winners. They were left by their parents who are
mainly employed at the small-holder sugarcane plots where they earn a pittance.
Many of them left their jobs for South Africa where they hoped to get better
paying jobs,” said Chiguvi.
She also said a lot of
illegal abortions were taking place, with nurses and doctors being involved.
“Although we don’t know the
number of pregnancies terminated and the number of those who died in the
process, we admit that we use unorthodox abortion methods like shoving fresh chilies
up our private parts or using hooked wires, but nurses from Chiredzi General
Hospital and doctors from private institutions have carried out most of the
abortions in this town,” she said.

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