Sex trade booms during SADC summit in Malawi

Besides the benefits which Malawi as a country is expected to gain from the SADC summit currently underway at Bingu International Conference Centre in the capital Lilongwe, fun seekers in the capital, are telling a different story.

A snap survey conducted by Nyasa Times reporters in various booze joints in Lilongwe such as Star Light, Chez Ntemba,  at Bwandilo and Mugasa along the Devil Street indicate that inspite the presence of many sex workers who are patronizing the city’s drinking joints the summit is negatively affecting their social life.

“Life is hard. We are no longer enjoying the girls as was before.  For example prostitutes have almost tripled their charges. We used to pay them K1, 000 for a short time at Bwandilo some even went as low as K5, 00 but now they are charging K3, 500 for short time and double as much for a full night stint,” said one of fun seekers who identified himself as Austin.

He said it is unfortunate that many ‘guests’ who have come for the summit are splashing the bank notes like nobody’s business which has led to most of the city’s ‘citizens’ lose their girlfriends.

Sex work is work
Sex work is work

One of the prostitutes Linda Malunda (possibly not her real name), at Chez told Nyasa Times point blank she is in the capital for “real business”.

“It reminds me of tobacco selling season when usually I travel all the away from Blantyre to share the spoils with the farmers here. This time is not for anthu obooka mmatumba(those without money),” she said.

Linda, who disclosed that most of her clients are those from abroad, said since the start of the summit on August 10th she has earned a lot to build “a house”.

“Depending on the accent, I charge K5,000  for short time and whoever wants to have me whole-night I charge K15, 000  or the lowest , K10,000. And these guys pay since most of them are residing in expensive hotels and lodges”, she beamed.

Bar tenders at Bwandilo and alongside Devil streets are corroborating the story, saying new arrivals sometimes outnumber the regulars in the drinking places.

Grecian Telunde a bar tender at Bwandilo said there are sometimes fight between old and new prostitutes for boyfriends.

“Last week two girls exchanged blows over a South African man they both claimed was their boyfriend. And yesterday another girl was beaten up by three girls who accused her of snatching their friend’s visiting Mozambican boyfriend,” he said.

A female foreign journalist who also was investigating similar story told Nyasa Times that if Malawians will not be careful there will be a massive spread of sexual diseases during this summit,

“ For example today I have been proposed by three visiting SADC delegates, one of them wanted to take out tonight, another one said I should spend the day in his room, another one said he wants to marry me,”  she said.

Speaking during the official launch summit which is expected to end on August 18, Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ephraim Mganda Chiume said the country will benefit a lot from the summit than it will lose.

He said the coming in of foreign dignitaries guarantees the flowing in of foreign currency which will help to boost the economy of the country citing the gains which the countries hotels would make by hosting the many of the delegates.

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