Minor sex workers become talk of Jerera

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Some of the minor sex workers on their way to Jerera Growth Point

By Brighton Chiseva

ZAKA – A group of four minor sex workers, popularly known as ‘Zvitokwe Mukosi’ allegedly below 15 years have become the talk of the town in Zaka’s Jerera Growth Point as they are attracting the eyes of male predators who are stampeding to get their services.
The name ‘Zvitokwe Mukosi’ came about after several young children from Chivi area who were affected by the Tokwe Mukosi floods in 2014 went into prostitution in areas like Ngundu, Chiredzi and Jerera.
Zaka ward 19 (Jerera) councilor Albert Mazvanya popularly known as Tabika confirmed the development and said they were worried about the issue saying responsible authorities should intervene.
“I can confirm there is a group of about four girls who frequent the popular night spots in Jerera. They are so young judging from their faces and stature and could be below 15 years. I heard one of them dropped out of school and was supposed to be in form 2 in the resettlement areas. After that she came to stay with her mother who stays in the Mapanje area but left for the growth point.
“I call upon relevant departments to intervene and rescue these young children before they become addicted to the profession because currently, all eyes are on them,” said Mazvanya.
Other sources said the minors were staying at a local house in Jerera and charged from as little as US$2 – US$5 depending on the time of the month.
“They charge from as little as US$2 and if its short time they will have to pay a US$1 for a room behind the bars,” said the source
Another said the quartet are now the centre of attraction in local bars and the elderly sex workers are losing clientele as men compete for the minor girls.
“The old and regular sex workers are losing clients and they are now jealous of the kids and if the situation continues they may get hurt. This is because they don’t have a standard fee, they accept anything making it hard for the older ones who cannot settle for less,” said another source.
One elder sex worker said she felt pity for the young girls whom she said should be in school and urged parents and guardians not to let their children go into the streets.
“I am a sex worker but I have a kid who is older than these so it pains me when we compete for clients. They should be in school because they risk contracting STIs. After all, they do not have the guts to tell clients to use protection,” said the source.
She said because of competition with the younger sex workers, a number of them had resorted to selling different things at these night spots.
Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council Marketing and Communications officer Hebert Chikosi said they were worried about child prostitution and were engaging other stakeholders like law enforcement agencies to intervene as well as make sure that sexual and reproductive health services are available.
“In addressing child sex work, ZNFPC is working closely with government agencies, law enforcement, and social welfare departments to strengthen child protection mechanisms
“ZNFPC’s involvement in comprehensive interventions, including prevention strategies, accessible sexual health services, collaboration with stakeholders, and advocating for policy changes, is crucial in addressing the spike in STIs,” said Chikosi
Other hot spots where underage girls solicite for transactional sex include Mhandamambwe Growth Point in Chivi District, Mpandawana-Gutu town and Nyika Growth Point in Bikita, among others.

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