'Sex now, pay later' scheme flourishing at tobacco auction floors
The agrarian reform initiated by the government is paying great dividends to farmers hawkers and vendors. But among diverse beneficiaries are also prostitutes.
Sex workers have besieged Boka Tobacco Auction Floors, now known as the Zimbabwe Tobacco Auction Centre (ZITAC). Sex-starved farmers have fallen prey to the sex traders, who can sense business prospects from a mile off. H-Metro visited the auction floors yesterday afternoon.
Sex was ‘“being dished out” in broad daylight at the nearby shopping centre. Tobacco farmers from as far as Karoi seemed to have a “weakness” for “sweetness”. They were falling prey to the carnal blandishments of the sex workers. There was a fascinating yet sad element to the business. The farmers were being offered sex on a ‘play now and pay later’ basis. Not all of it was due to the greed or so-called business acumen of the sex workers. “I have been here for ten days,” said a farmer, “and I am waiting for my tobacco to be sold. But there have been delays. “I have no accommodation. So, this lady is offering me accommodation and sex. She says I can pay her when my tobacco is sold. I have no option, but to take her up on her offer.”
The farmer identified himself as Lewis Maisva from Hilltop Farm in Karoi. The “sex credit scheme” seems to be flourishing. An H-Metro crew went on an “un-conducted tour” around the auction floors. They established that the place was basically the “Boka Red Light District”. It has literally become a “city” on its own. Sex workers roam the site as freely as the birds nearby in broad daylight. On Wednesday, H-Metro purported to hire the services of one of them. The pretext was that the reporter was the son of a tobacco farmer waiting for payment.
The sex worker identified herself as Nyadzi. She was believed to hail from Centenary. Here is what she was offering: a ‘“credit facility” provided the client left a “surety” his national identity card or tobacco grower’s number. Nyadzi has established herself as one of the most popular prostitutes at the site. Several other self proclaimed sex workers were offering farmers “sex on loan” clients would pay later for services rendered.
Residents from neighbouring Waterfalls and Glen-Norah were concerned about the alleged “fleecing” of the gullible farmers by the sex workers. They said some of the farmers “panicked” with the amount of money they were getting from the sale of their tobacco. They tended to use their profits recklessly.
H-Metro established that nearby house owners along Bradley Road in Waterfalls have turned their houses into “lodges” temporary love nests. They are renting out rooms for US$15 an hour. The price for “short time” sex ranges between US$5-US$10. An “all nighter” ranges between US$15-US$30 — negotiable.