Source: The Zimdiaspora
Prostitution among Zimbabweans living in South Africa has reached dramatic levels with some men being blamed for pimping their home girls for financial gains, The ZimDiaspora has found out.

These men, most of whom are also Zimbabweans have found their illicit activities to be lucrative such that they now don’t bother searching for jobs anymore, preferring to market bodies of their home girls at a time when South Africa ranks as the world’s second highest country devastated by the deadly HIV, AIDS .

Our investigations have revealed that a sizeable number of Zimbabwean women were flocking to South Africa to find themselves in the hands of their fellow countrymen who pimp them out. The women are now eking-out a living through marketing their bodies against the scourge of HIV Aids which has claimed millions of lives around the world.

A concerned Zimbabwean woman in South Africa, Thembi Khumalo said: “It’s very sad, but almost all of them they are doing it because they have no choice and you'll find out that they are breadwinners in their families and yet can’t get decent jobs and then end up resorting to such a life. Then how do we help them to get out of this because debating this is not the solution”.

Details are extremely disturbing. It is reported that the first day a Zimbabwean woman arrives in South Africa, particularly those who don’t have steady accommodation are handed over to Zimbabwean pimps who then advertise her to their clients as being “fresh from Zimbabwe”.

The woman will then spend different nights with different men in some cases engaging in unprotected sex. The sex fee is often determined by the pimps who know the South African sex market very well. The pimps are reportedly rewarded a quarter of the amount paid by the client. At times, during short-time sexual encounters, the pimp will wait for his spoils outside the hotel door, wherever it’s happening for the client to finish-up and make a payment to the woman. It’s cash on delivery.

While some women often find the pimps abusive, some habitual prostitutes find them helpful and protective as in some cases clients become agressive after sex and refuse to pay up.

A Zimbabwean prostitute based in South Africa who requested anonymity, said: “I used to think pimps were getting easy money until one man slept with me the whole night and then simple ran away in the morning without paying me. It was hard to swallow because I spent the whole night working hard and the man even refused to use condoms”.

Asked if she has ever tested for HIV, the woman said “No, because the results are obvious”.

Characteristically, the pimps are often hardened Zimbabweans who have lived in South Africa for many years and can be rough to clients who refuse to make a payment. As a result most prostitutes prefer the service of pimps for the sake of protection.

We have also found out that most of the clients who are HIV positive often refuse to wear condoms but prefer to pay more. They reportedly pay up to R2500.00 per night as they often sexually engage with the Zimbabwean girls without protection.

In social networking facebook debate, a Zimbabwean man based in South Africa, Mondli Dube said: “I regret to say that marketing is too polite a term to use when describing the life of these people here. It’s simply too ghastly to describe. Question now is with Zimbabwe's unemployment hovering at 85% what does the future have for all these young girls?”

Also writing from South Africa, a Zimbabwean woman identified as Linda Mabhena said: “Ukhuluma umbhedonje wena uswele into onga xoxa ngayo yini. Ungazosibhedela thina hambefale ko hele ungazosifakela amehlo thina, proud Zimbabwe speak out don't let someone talk nonces every where kulaboma hotsha so what ungazenzi ncono la uyabathenga lokuba thenga mxm”.

This translates to: “You are talking nonsense, don’t you have something better to talk about? Dont be silly, why don’t you go away and die. There are prostitutes everywhere don’t ever think you are better than anyone”.

The ZimDiaspora could not establish why Mabhena was riled by this debate when clearly some Zimbabweans in South Africa are confirming that the issue was real and had reached appalling levels. Clearly, Mabhena did not want this debate to be executed in a public forum.

However, another Zimbabwean said: “I live here and what we see is a real Gomorrah. It’s too bad, especially in Hillbrow, Berea, Yeoville, inner Johannesburg etc. Zisemahlangeni nje”.

Popular radio personality and aspiring legislator Ezra Tshisa Sibanda also responded in the debate and said: “It’s happening and l don't see why people get so angry and emotional about it, instead of finding the root cause of that, how it can be avoided and help our dear sisters who think taking off pants for money is the only way to survive economic hardships. Its known that poverty breeds prostitution and diseases so Admore is 100% right to bring this to our attention through social networks and reach out to many people for us to discuss and find ways to help them stop this sick practice”.

Convener Ndlovu said “People might say its hearsay, but the bottom line is that its happening and this is why MDC-T MPs like Thabitha Khumalo are pursuing the aspect of legalising prostitution”. 

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