Sex for a $1 at Ngundu halt

NGUNDU - Sex for dollar sounds weird, too farfetched even. Well, you have to visit Ngundu Growth Point any time of the day to believe it.

For only $1, sex is guaranteed from girls as young as 13-years-old. The hookers span all age groups, even grannies in their 60s.

Business is brisk all day, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

With the drought that ravaged Chivi Growth Point, Ngundu has seen girls reeling from poverty resorting to the oldest profession in the world, which they say is lucrative.

The growth point, to the sex workers, is a strategic position as it is along the country’s busiest road, Harare-Beitbridge high way which connects Zimbabwe with South Africa, Zambia, DRC and other countries to the north.

The hookers are trooping to Ngundu from all parts of the country to entice travellers connecting to these countries.

And their major clients are drivers of long-distance haulage trucks who park at the growth point for a night rest.

“We have no option but to sell our bodies,” said a hooker who only identified herself as Peggy.

“That is the only business we can do here. But many ladies are coming, including school-going children so the competition is stiff.”

She said her main clients are long-distance truck drivers, travellers as well as imbibers out to have fun at the growth point.

“Long distance truck drivers are our major clients, and they pay well,” she said.
“If you are lucky and you have a passport, they can take you with them on their trip and drop you when they are returning to Zimbabwe, but because a lot of girls are coming here we are now charging as low as one dollar for a quickie,” she said.

The hookers are mainly drawn from various districts in the province, including Gutu, Zaka, Chiredzi and Bikita while others are from major cities such as Bulawayo, and the rest of the country.

The small growth point, which has more bars and night clubs than grocery shops, is also a hub of transport coming from the lowveld sugar producing towns of Chiredzi and Triangle, where cane cutters and other workers there provide the clientele base for the hookers.

Most of the pubs at the centre operate 24 hours with the most notorious being Ngundu Night Club, run by the local rural district council.

The pub is always full to capacity any time of the day.

The number of ladies jammed into the dinghy bar at any given time supersedes that of men, creating tight competition.

Most of the ladies who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday said they were forced to venture into the dangerous business due to the tough economic situation.

Pinky Masarure, a teenage sex worker at the growth point, said she had no option than eke a living through selling her body because she could not get a job.

Zimbabwe has an unemployment rate of about  80 percent, according to the UN.

“I had no option than to come here and commercialise my body as I couldn’t get a job anywhere,” she said.

“I need to take care of my grandmother who looked after me since the time I lost my parents at the age of six.”

Some said they wanted to follow the great trek to South Africa but were scared of taking up menial jobs that are very difficult to come by in a foreign land.

Parents from the surrounding growth point have voiced concern at the vice as well as the increase in school-going girls who are now either absconding class or frequenting the place at night to sell their bodies.

“I think the authorities should do something about it because it is getting out of hand,” said one parent who declined to be named.

The parent called for the creation of jobs for the youth who are now engaging in “unholy activities” to earn a living.

Ngundu growth point has been tagged as an HIV/ Aids red spot in the province.

The growth point also topped the charts when it recorded the highest number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Masvingo, a situation that has been of concern again to the local community elders.

A recent report by the Health and Child Welfare parliamentary portfolio committee led by Kwekwe Central MP, Blessing Chebundo that visited Zaka, Chiredzi, Ngundu (Chivi) and Masvingo Urban expressed concern over an increased rate of HIV/Aids at Ngundu growth point.

“The causes of HIV/ Aids were cited to be due to mainly constant migration within the province,” the report says.

“Chiredzi is affected because of the large number of migrant workers in the Lowveld. The worst affected is Ngundu Growth Point which is a stopover of international truck drivers along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road, one of the busiest roads in the region.”

The report also claimed that because of Ngundu Growth Point, Chivi district has the highest HIV/Aids rate in the province with 35,5 percent while other districts recorded slightly over 20 percent.

But the hookers were not moved by issues of high rates of the disease and STIs.

“We are aware that this place has the highest rate of HIV but every job has its occupational hazards and therefore we operate carefully,” said one sex worker.

“We try by all means to use condoms to prevent this disease but at times it’s difficult because there are clients who pay ‘big time’ for unprotected sex.”

She said it was better to die of HIV than die of hunger.

Bulawayo east, legislator Tabitha Khumalo has called for the decriminalisation of prostitution.  

“It (prostitution) is here to stay and we need to bite the bullet,” she told Parliament last year.

“Pleasure engineering did not begin in Bulawayo or Zimbabwe. It all began in the Garden of Eden and one of those pleasure engineers was Eve."

“Who in their right mind will deny it? We will have to  embrace it, whether we like it or not.” - Godfrey Mtimba

Comments (1)

because of the much politised economic environment these ladies can nolonger eke a living in the previous bread basket of the Southern Region .My message is to please play it safe please all responsible stakeholders within the area may you distrubite condoms within their reach .

brian - 27 June 2013

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