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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Prostitutes marketing online

By Kelvin Kasiwulaya

Commercial sex workers in Zimbabwe have gone a notch higher as they now sell nude pictures, advertise and solicit for sex via online platforms.

The innovative thigh vendors are now openly selling their services on WhatsApp groups, Facebook and other online platforms with a recent shocker being the price of eight nude pictures which are going for 700RTGS.

Despite the legal underpinnings of the Censorship and Entertainments Control Act (Chapter 10:09) which makes the peddling of pornographic material illegal, commercial sex workers are now more visible online posting their naked bodies and private parts for interested customers to choose.
Contact details, amount to be paid, the period of service and services to be provided are now being displayed on the thigh vendors’ WhatsApp statuses.

To get to understand these activities better, this reporter went undercover to investigate the social media groups and revealed that, there are real commercial sex workers out there eking a living through enticing online platform users on instant messaging applications.

Purporting to be a client and pretending to be fully interested, this reporter contacted one of the commercial sex workers whose advert is making rounds on WhatsApp group called Lovers for cash with 241 members.

“700 RTGS for 8 nudes on Ecocash” she texted back after I inquired about the prices of her services.
This reporter then wired 700RTGS and it took exactly 15 minutes for the commercial sex worker to send eight raunchy nude pictures.

“Sorry for being late cwty, I was cooking when you wired the money, I am thinking of giving you a video as a bonus, anyway how are the nudes?” she softly texted back after I had demanded my money back because she had not forwarded the nudes within my expected time.

Fortunately, after a chit-chat, the commercial sex worker claimed that her name was Molly Jukuchire as confirmed by her Ecocash details. She also claimed that she was the mastermind of 38 sex-soliciting WhatsApp groups and she added this reporter into a group dubbed “Lovers for Cash”.

“My name is Molly; I am reliable don’t you think that if I dupe my clients I won’t survive in this business. For your own information, I run 38 WhatsApp groups across various cities and all my clients are satisfied with the services I provide” Mollen replied in a lustful WhatsApp voice note.

The undercover investigation got more interesting in the Lovers for Cash WhatsApp group when a disgruntled client came out guns blazing at one commercial sex worker for dropping a pack of Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs after he had engaged her for unprotected sex.

Using a WhatsApp pseudonym ‘Anju’ the disgruntled client said, “guys uyu munhu anorwara neAIDS motoshinga kupfeka condom ndakaenda kumba kwake akutora macondom akaita mistake muwardrop achitora matissue kwava kudonhedza gaba remaARV mungwarire dzimwe m***a manzwa. Admin ukandibudisa mugroup ndinopinda secretly nelink .

Anju was unfortunately removed from the group after several insults from other commercial sex workers who vehemently defended their colleague.

Reached for comment about the digitized commercial sex workers, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, noted that it was a criminal offense to peddle pornographic material on social media.

“Though I don’t have evidence of the alleged groups, anyone found committing such a crime and if the evidence is provided, the law will surely take its course,” he said.

According to a global prostitution report by Scelles foundation (France) on knowing, understanding and fighting sexual exploitation; instant messaging applications are fueling the soaring industry of online prostitution and sexual exploitation.

The French anti-prostitution group argued that prostitution is neither work nor sex, it is the commodification of human beings, it is the outrageous exploitation of the bodies of women, children, and an increasing number of men.

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