Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Life in Zimbabwe

Nelson Katsande files a heartwrenching report report on the lives of prostitutes on Harare's streets

Tsitsi, 15, ran away from poverty and abuse in the Musana communal lands. She was lured into prostitution by her elder sister, who died of HIV/AIDS six months ago. Tsitsi started prostitution at the age of 14 after having been subjected to physical abuse by her father. She reported the matter to her mother, who accused her of lying. She later made a report to the police and her father was arrested. He is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for child abuse as well as cattle rustling.

Tsitsi is one of the many teenage girls working for a group of men involved in vice. The men set targets that the girls have to make each night. If they fail to meet these targets, they are physically abused. In some cases, they have to rob their clients, in cahoots with the men, to make up the difference. The victims, most of them businessmen and respectable members of society, do not report the crime for fear of being identified.

Tsitsi was introduced to drugs and alcohol at the age of 14. She says prostitution is the easiest solution to find money.
Read the rest here.

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