THE National Assembly has adopted a motion on abuse of children under the guise of selling sex and called on Public Service minister Priscah Mupfumira to set up a ministerial taskforce to investigate the matter and table a report before Parliament.
By VENERANDA LANGA
The motion was introduced last week by MDC Proportional Representation MP, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, where she described how girls as young as nine years were initiated into commercial sex work and paid as little as 25 cents or given empty beer bottles as payment at a hideout in Mabvuku, Harare.
She claimed she was taken to a hideout by a child rights group, Katswe Sistahood.
“When we went into the room where the abused children were I sat for two hours crying because most of them had lost their mothers and fathers and it was clear that the majority of them were sick,” she said.
Seconder of the motion, James Maridadi (Mabvuku Tafara MP) said their experience at the hideout was heart wrenching.
“But two days later, we were shocked to hear that Katswe Sistahood ladies had been arrested. What is going on in this country?” Maridadi said, questioning the arrest of the women, who have been trying to assist the abused children.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care, Ruth Labode said the issue of child sex slaves was also rife in Ngundu, where teenage girls engaged in sex romps with long-distance truck drivers who stop over at the business centre.
“We met young sex workers in Ngundu. They were aged 13 and 14. The older sex workers complained to us that men are now going for the young sex workers.
This is a norm in Zimbabwe if you do not know. Let us not pretend. It is shocking that the minister (Mupfumira) can actually stand up, instead of taking the bull by the horns; she wants to victimise a civil society organisation,” Labode said.
Chegutu West MP, Dextor Nduna said cases of child sex and rape are fuelled by lack of accommodation in his constituency.