ZIMBABWEAN sex workers have invaded the country masquerading as cross-border traders selling a variety of merchandise.
At night, however, the women shift from being respectable business persons to sex workers parading in the streets of Lusaka townships and patronising lodges and guest houses.
The Zimbabwean sex workers have particularly found a haven in Chawama and Kuku townships where they lodge at two guest houses commonly known as Katete and Bulawayo.
Residents of the two townships said men from Chawama, Kuku and other parts of Lusaka had been flocking to these guest houses in a bid to have a good time with the Zimbabwean sex workers.
Many of these sex workers prefer Chawama which for them has become more like a gold mine because men there prefer the Zimbabwean prostitutes to their Zambian counterparts.
A Zambian sex worker, Judith Mwila of Chawama, who has been in the business for years, said many men no longer went for locals, claiming that Zimbabwean sex workers were ‘more active and sweet in bed’.
Ms Mwila said the other unfortunate thing was that the Zambian sex workers had lost business to their Zimbabwean counterparts who had proved to be extremely cheap.
An undercover survey by the Sunday Times found that while Zambian sex workers were charging at least K50 per session, Zimbabweans were charging as low as K15.
Incidentally, this illicit business is not only conducted at the so-called Katete and Bulawayo lodges but exists in other townships as well such as Chibolya, Kanyama, Garden and Chaisa.
Zimbabwean sex workers can be found in these other townships selling their bodies cheaply, and this has compelled more and more Zambian men to prefer them to their Zambian counterparts.
Ms Mwila called on the law-enforcement officers to ensure that foreign female visitors in particular had legal documentation because many of these were sex workers were making the lives of Zambian prostitutes difficult by pushing them out of ‘business’.
“I am urging the Immigration Department to move in and check if these people have legal documents to be in the country because they are making our lives hard,” Ms Mwila said.
Another resident, Henry Ngoma, called on Lusaka City Council to move in and close ‘Katete’ and ‘Bulawayo’ lodges in particular, which he
said had been turned into brothels similar to what previously were
known as ‘midadadada’.
Mr Ngoma said the issue was getting out of hand because even young men were flocking to the two brothels because there services were affordable.
“It is outrageous because boys are also flocking to these brothels and paying for cheap sex,” Mr Ngoma said.
“I am hereby urging the council and other relevant authorities to ensure that they close them down.”
Immigration public relations manager Namati Nshinka said some of these women may have valid documents although they ended up doing something else.
The Immigration Department had in the recent past conducted operations to remove sex workers from Chawama.
Mr Nshinka said the department would soon carry out another raid and clear sex workers that might have returned to the township.
He was aware of sex workers that were operating at ‘Katete’ and ‘Bulawayo’ and warned the owners of the two places that they risked being closed down.
“We are going to carry out an operation to remove and deport all the sex workers operating at the named brothels,” he said.