Prostitutes in Dema Growth Point, Zimbabwe, are accepting maize and beans as payment from their cash-strapped male customers.
According to New Zimbabwe, some of the sex workers in the country are appealing to the government for low-interest loans to start income-generating businesses to provide for their families.
“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”, one of the sex workers identified simply as Alice said.
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Alice disclosed one of her three children who is in Form 4, needs money to register for ZIMSEC (Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council).
She said her other two children are in Grade 7 and 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,” she added.
Another sex worker, identified simply as Mavis, said she could have opted to be a house helper.
Mavis, however, lamented that locals do not pay.
The commercial 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.