Sex Workers Left Dry As Wives Escort Hubbies To Tobacco Auction Floors

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MACHEKE: Female sex workers in this small farming town have been left counting losses after most tobacco farmers this marketing season chose to be escorted to tobacco auction floors by their spouses.

The farmers took the decision to avoid losing their hard-earned cash through theft, or unnecessary spending with sex workers and other hangers-on. 

In the past, cases were reported of cash-rich male tobacco farmers, who after selling their crop at auction floors, became easy prey for sex workers who ply their trade near the floors and drinking spots.

Some of the farmers have lost thousands in US dollars after being robbed by sex workers who usually work with male criminals.

The sex workers recently admitted to NewZimbabwe.com that gone were the days when the cash-loaded tobacco farmers would come to Macheke, and spend money lavishly on beer while paying handsomely for sex encounters.

Some of the farmers would only return home after squandering the family cash.

Macheke is in Murewa district Mashonaland East province and located some 105km east of Harare.

The area is known for producing quality tobacco.

“We used to rely on tobacco farmers during this period, but now their wives are now accompanying them to the auction floors and they are no longer accessible,” one sex worker, who only identified herself as Mucha, said.

Mucha is also a peer educator for local sex workers.

“So, for us to approach tobacco farmers soliciting for beer or sex is now impossible. The farmers also come to bars that are operating illegally with their wives and as a result, the couples don’t spend much time in the town compared to previous years when they would stay for over a week.

“Sex is work and if we do nothing, our children will die from hunger and be unable to attend school. We are getting old, and sex work will not take us far. We need to prepare for retirement, so we appeal to authorities if we can be assisted with income-generating projects and retire from this trade.”

According to Mucha, the female sex workers’ sources of income had also been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen most people finding it hard to survive.

“Our rates have gone down and we are now accepting as little as $1 for sex. Most beer outlets remain closed and those operating illegally, police officers come and chase us away and at times demand sexual favours as ‘fine’.” newzimbabwe

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