Prostitutes in Chipata have complained of having lost business as COVID-19 continues to affect their revenue generation. The sex workers say measures set by Government to fight the spread of COVID-19 are affecting their trade.
President Edgar Lungu recently ordered the closure of bars and nightclubs to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Bars and nightclubs are among the many places where thigh vendors in Chipata conduct their trade from.
A-27-year-old adultery technician, who identified herself as Abby, said the outbreak of COVID-19 has negatively affected her business, from which she earns between K5,000 and K9,000 per month. In an interview on Wednesday in Chipata, Abby said COVID-19 has affected her earnings to the extent that she is failing to support her three children and her parents. She said most of her clients have gone quiet on her.
Abby has since resorted to trading from home due to lack of customers on the streets of Chipata at night. “I am not the only one who has lost out because of the disease. Most of my friends are also complaining because our clients are now confined to their homes. It is really hard because bars are closed and this is the place we get most clients from,” Abby said. She said due to the high number of police officers enforcing COVID-19 control measures, she has turned her home into a trading place. “
I am working on alert because if police find me, I may go to jail. Government is very serious about preventing this disease but we also need money to feed our families and this is our only work,” she said. Abby said some of her loyal and married clients who have her mobile contact utilise lunch time break at their places of work to access her services from her residence in Kapata.
“This disease outbreak is really affecting our business because nowadays it is difficult to find clients and out of desperation we are charging between K30 and K50 for short time services,” she said.
And a 30-year-old Malawian national, who conducts her business in Kalongwezi, said she is planning of going back to Malawi as the impact of the fight against COVID-19 has affected her business in Zambia.
The “expatriate” sex smith, who did not want to be identified, said she is failing to pay bills for a room she has been renting at a named guest house for the past three months. She said her business has gone down because most bus drivers who are her main clients have suspended the movements of buses on the Great East Road to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Malawian hooker said most of her clients are in formal employment in various departments and private institutions in Chipata.
“I am currently raising transport money to go back to Malawi. If I manage to raise something tonight [Wednesday night], it will be used for transport,” she said.
A Check by Daily Mail at a popular rest house where many foreign sex trader stay found that most rooms were deserted. A drive through Chipata city and Mwami border between 19:00 hours to 22:00 hours found only a few ‘adult entertainers’ desperately looking for clients.
Chipata City Mayor Sinoya Mwale recently warned ‘fornication specialists’ to desist from trading in the streets as a measure to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“The best thing our sisters conducting business at night can do is to operate from their homes, otherwise they will be sorry if we find that they have paraded themselves in the streets during these challenging times,” he said.