MBERENGWA – The economic hardships at Mataga Growth Point in Mberengwa have become so acute that commercial sex workers and hordes of little girls that have dropped out of school as a result are engaging in sex just for a plate of sadza.
The sex workers who spoke to The Mirror said business has become so elusive that they go for days without meals.
A plate of sadza cost 40cents at Mataga Growth Point.
The desperate sex workers left guests shell-shocked when they recently hired a kombi to go and parade their services at an agricultural field day at Inyala.
“Ukatowana anokutengera sadza wototi mudzimu yandida musi iwoyo (If you find someone who buys you sadza, you have to thank your ancestral spirits for giving you a good fortune),” said Chipo Zhou popularly known as ‘Mai Nona’.
Speaking in separate interviews during a visit at Mataga the sex workers said living conditions have become unbearable that they can now offer a one night stand just for a plate of sadza.
They said business has dwindled at Mataga due to the economic meltdown and they would sometimes sleep on empty stomachs.
The Mirror visit also showed that the sex workers are living in squalor with five of them sharing one room and paying $10 a month each. The rooms are actually found in run-down and abandoned shops.
Their business has also been severely affected by an influx of girls who are dropping out of school because of economic hardships. The number of cross border traders who used to board a train to Mozambique at Ngungumbane about 10 km from Mataga has also sharply dropped thereby shrinking the market for sex workers.
“We used to have a hype of business from traders at Ngungumbane but things have changed. You can board a commuter for $1 to Ngungumbane and fail to secure a client there,” said Theresa Siziba, a sex worker. – Masvingo Mirror