Skip to comments.Harare elite driven into prostitution
Posted on 10/16/2004 5:53:47 PM PDT by MadIvan
Night falls across Harare and Tracy Ncube sashays up Fife Avenue in a tight skirt and borrowed shirt to sell the only thing she can.
Half a dozen other young women are already stationed outside Tipperary's bar and Ncube picks her spot, a tree opposite the car park illuminated by headlights. She has been a prostitute for two weeks and has bagged three customers, earning $45 (£25).
Zimbabwe's youth were once considered Africa's brightest, graduates of one of the continent's best education systems which bred sophistication, confidence and ambition.
But the economy has crumbled and, with it, opportunity. There are virtually no jobs. Some 90 per cent of the country's 11.8 million people live on less than $1 a day. Hyperinflation and food shortages are making the middle class destitute.
So, a fortnight ago, Ncube, 23, turned to prostitution. 'These days life is very hard. My family doesn't know that I do this, but how else am I to survive?'
She was visibly nervous. Her voice trembled, but she was determined to bag a fourth customer to earn between $7 and $20.
Aid jargon calls prostitution, or transactional sex, a 'negative coping mechanism', a desperate but effective way to get by.
Others emigrate, flying to Britain to work as nurses or jumping a fence to scrounge jobs in Botswana or South Africa. Their pay keeps many families afloat. For President Robert Mugabe, all this is excellent news. Inflation is close to 400 per cent, unemployment is at 70 per cent and hunger and homelessness are spreading, but there is no sign of revolution.
Yesterday the country was digesting the surprise acquittal of the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who had been charged with attempting to assassinate the president. On Friday a high court in Harare dismissed the case which for two years had crippled his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). It was a significant boost for the party but there was little public jubilation.
Partly this was because police in riot gear patrolled the capital with guns and batons. A military jet roared low overhead to reinforce the authority of a regime in power since independence from Britain in 1980.
But another reason was resignation. Analysts say that the ruling Zanu-PF party will sweep parliamentary elections due next March because opposition has been crushed.
Starved of an independent media and the right to campaign freely, the MDC has withered, according to a senior MP who asked not to be named. Its narrow defeats in rigged elections in 2000 and 2002 were high-water marks, he said.
Both cause and symptom of its malaise are to be found on Fife Avenue. At night, the smart, leafy suburb close to the city centre is a red-light district.
None of the prostitutes had a good word to say about Mugabe, whom they accused of despotism, but none responded to the MDC's plea to rally at the high court for Tsvangirai's verdict.
'Look, I'm a working girl. I need to sleep and do things around the house during the day,' said Talent Mushonga, 23. Samantha Hazvinei, 24, said girls as young as 15 and middle-aged married women were turning up. 'We are too many ladies looking for too few men. I need to come earlier and earlier and stay longer to get business.'
A UN report last year said poverty and hunger were fuelling child labour and prostitution. An aid worker, who did not want to be named because of a crackdown on non-governmental organisations, said she knew middle-aged women, including nurses, teachers and police officers, who had turned to prostitution.
Maxine, 27, a three-year veteran of Fife Avenue, said the new arrivals were reckless. 'They are hot hot, chilli chilli, all in a rush. But they don't last, they die fast.'
Official figures show that 24.6 per cent of the adult population is infected with HIV, one of the highest rates in the world.
Ncube said she preferred to use a condom but admitted the competition for customers - and frequent demand for unprotected sex - could weaken her resolve.
'What else can I do? Go out and demonstrate against the government? Demand change?' The notion made her laugh.
"Some 90 per cent of the country's 11.8 million people live on less than $1 a day. Hyperinflation and food shortages are making the middle class destitute. "
Who has the dough to pay for sex?
The whites that are left are the white liberals that put Mugabe into power... That is if Mugabe has not killed them all already.. They deserve MORE than they are getting.. Because of them the death of a multitude whites and blacks are on their hands..
"Pennies for the bullet and a couple thousand dollars for the sniper to put it into Mugabe's head should suffice."
Moderator, if this is objectionable, please remove.
Thank you, Norski
Of course they do. Don't forget Pinochet. Dude they really hate him.
we NEED democracy, liberty and free markets to become the norm around the world. Half the world lives on less than $1 a day?? They need factories and they would have them if we had free trade. Free trade won't happen without free countries.
If the middle class is destitute... then what is the poor??
If thats a real website it might be objectionable.... but killing Mugabe would not be a crime in my book
I believe it's less than a third of what the white population was prior to the capitulation.
Just tragic, my friend. I remember when you first started drawing Freepers' attention to the disaster unfolding in Zim. We often made light of the situation, dark humour, imagining Tomahawk strikes on ZANU HQ or Mugabe mistakenly wandering into the Blue Oyster Bar. The humor's long gone and whenever a (much appreciated) Zim ping arrives from your goodself I brace myself for the grimmest of news, before clicking the link. This thread is perhaps the saddest yet, girls from good families selling themselves in a country where one in three is HIV positive, and the populace as beaten and passive as they must have been under Chaka. Can anything be done? I know that for something to be done it will take a man of moral principle who's concerned for the suffering of others, thereby ruling all African leaders out.
The finest fruit of socialism is genocide.
Aids is coming to London from Zimbabwe.
I can tell you that according to the figures there are more BLACK Zimbabweans living in Britain to day than there were whites in "Rhodesia!" It would be amusing if the situation were not so tragic - a country which demanded Independence and freedom so loudly and insistently now finding itself enslaved and in pauperdom, with a large percentage of its native inhabitants running for the comfort of the former "Colonial masters" they despised!
The posting about the Left warmly embracing every dictator and playing apologist for mass murderers is so depressingly correct. I really have to struggle even to ATTEMPT to figure out how their minds work.
The Left had a few virtues (on which they didn't have the monopoly) but they seem to deal in theories and ideals as opposed to realities, incapable of thjinking any of th eir policies through...just to the shining "next step along the way". This has always proved disastrous. Socialism has forged an indisputble record as a system of enslavement, fear, economic mismanagement,creation of legions of petty officials,waste and desperate unhappiness. Human beings are reduced to nothing more than numbers, deprived of individuality even in thought! If you don't believe me - check out the history books!
Having read your "about" page, including "The Joys of Eviction" I invite you to read mine. I share your joy, and your pains.
Now, as for the website. It is real, and has to do with our armed forces not having what they need. I couldn't decide if it would be a problem or not, which is why I brought it to the admin's attention. Also, I didn't really believe in it when I first heard about it, here on FR.
Regards, Norski :-)
Maine Coon Cat?? There was a thread around about them a couple of months ago. And you like "Heinlein, Robert", so you fit in fine. There is no "FR science fiction club" (unless I haven't been told for a reason) but there should be.
Yeah, great big furry thing. More dog than cat, in some ways. Arrived with his own name - Noorvik.
Maybe I'll start a FR sci-fi club, someday when I have the time. Right now, was discussing a book with others called "Realtime Interrupt". Good show. Recommended.
It would be a cautionary tale for South Africa if anyone were listening. Perhaps they are, but I don't see any particular signs of it yet. Perhaps they aren't.
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