Prostitutes in Zimbabwe are now reportedly accepting buckets of maize and cups of beans as payment for their services.
This special form of trade by barter is reportedly being utilised by the sex workers in the Dema Growth Point region of the country.
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According to a report by a local news outlet, New Zimbabwe, some of the sex workers appealed to the government and other organisations for low-interest loans to start income-generating projects to fend for their starving families.
One of the sex workers who only identified herself as Alice is quoted as saying:
“Gone are the days when we used to charge US$5 for the whole night. These days even one dollar is accepted so that you are able to buy vegetables and tomatoes and cook something for your starving children.”
Alice disclosed that she has three children, one of which is in Form 4. The child needs Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) registration fees while the other kids are in Grade 7 and Grade One.
“I now even accept a bucket of maize or cups of dried beans as payment for sex services. At least I am assured that my kids will have porridge.”
Another sex worker identified only as Mavis said she could have opted to be a house helper. She however said locals don’t pay.
The sex workers who spoke to the publication were attending a Key Affected Populations (KAP) workshop meant to find ways of reducing HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The seminar was convened by the National Aids Council (NAC) at Dema Growth Point.