Saturday, 29 October 2016

Prostitutes Now Use Facebook, WhatsApp and Ecocash To Sell PUNANI

SPORTING a skimpy pink skirt that reveals much of her legs, 21-year old Florence Nheta (not her real name) waits at the entrance of a nightclub at Dombotombo, popularly known as Pakirawa, in Marondera.

Braving the mosquito bites often associated with summer, the woman tries in vain, smiling and employing all sorts of suggestive body movements, to lure every male patron entering the drinking hole.

Finally, a navy blue Mercedes-Benz C200 pulls over, before a neat, but inebriated man shouts through the window, asking the price of a “qu_ickie”.

“It is $5. And you won’t regret it. You can even pay using EcoCash,” Nheta says in a high-pitched voice.
Prostitutes Now Use Facebook, WhatsApp and Ecocash To Sell PUNANI
She jokes that the following week she will bring a swiping machine.

Nheta is one of the many se_x workers in Marondera and Macheke, who have devised new ways to beat the current cash crisis by resorting to plastic money transactions to keep the business going.

A number of her colleagues, however, are technophobic and this has resulted in some of them failing to attract business as many of their clients do not have ready cash.

“I have to adapt to these economic conditions. The men are willing and ready to acquire my services, but the major drawback is that there is no hard cash. Most of the clients have plastic money and I have to get through the most convenient way,” Nheta said.

“I accept EcoCash and given the chance, I am willing to get a swiping machine. Things are difficult for everyone and I accept that. I urge my fellow se_x workers to accept EcoCash transaction, otherwise they will toil all night for nothing.”

In a snap survey conducted by NewsDay Weekender in Macheke, it emerged that a number of innovative se_x workers have embraced the idea of using of plastic money, with EcoCash transactions being the most preferred method of payment.

“Our clients come to the nightclubs with little cash just to buy beer. The rest is in their bank accounts or phones. At first my clients were shy to tell me that they had money in their EcoCash accounts, but I had to ask them. It worked. They do the transaction before I offer my services,” a Macheke sex worker, who identified herself as Peggie, said.

She said her clients paid a dollar extra, so that when she cashes out, she would get the exact amount she would have charged for her services.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis since 2008 that has resulted in massive cash shortages. Local banks have limited withdrawals to as little as $50 per transaction, while others can go for days without cash for their customers. As a result, most businesses have accepted the use of plastic money to keep afloat.

Some men, who were interviewed, said they had no option but to adapt to the current situation. Most of them, however, admitted they were challenges associated with EcoCash transactions, as some of the se_x workers become evasive after receiving payment.

“We have no choice, but it is risky. After the transactions, a se_x worker will begin behaving funny, or she will change goalposts resulting in you losing your money. If it is hard cash, you can wrest it back, but with plastic money you can’t do anything,” a Macheke man, who refused to be named, said.

Regarded as the “oldest profession,” se_x work in Zimbabwe has continued to flourish despite attempts to contain it.
Source: Newsday