Malawi young girls are selling their bodies in shebeens to earn money and Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati has since said her ministry would investigate the matter and ensure that the perpetrator faces the law.
Some teens as young as 16 openly admit to prostituting themselves to “sugar daddies” for cash.
The shocking revelation follows a Weekend Nation investigation into Mama’s Shabin at Ntcheu Boma.
Mama’s Shabin has female workforce of eight in their teenage and the oldest is 22, according to the report.
The owner pays the girls a monthly wage of K6 000 for cleaning the place and having sex with the clients.
According to the Weekend Nation reporter Rabecca Chimjeka, she witnessed groups of skimpily-dressed 14-year old girls openly drinking and seducing a client- ready for pay sex.
Mama’s Shabin operated by Rebecca Bakuwa, at the heart of Ntcheu Township, behind the district’s post office building, is popularly known as “Ku Nursery” among Ntcheu residents for its functional role of nurturing young prostitutes who act as magnets for male customers, the newspaper reported
Nyasa Times also understands that there are many shabeens in the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre and that some young girls confess that they turn to dirty old men who buy them alcohol in exchange for sex – because they cannot get money from their cash-strapped parents.
Shabeen owners are said to be recruiting young girls and use them to have sex with men for money.
Kaliati has since said government will roll out a nation-wide crackdown on sexual trafficking of young girls and sexual exploitation.
“How could a woman who is supposed to be a mother indulge into such a business of exploiting teens? This is unacceptable,” said Kaliati as quoted by the paper.
Shabeen owner Bakuwa was arrested one time on charges of operating a brothel but was only fined.
She said the girls selling sex are “orphans.”
“I never went to school, but God blessed me with wisdom to run this business. I have only put that wisdom to good use; I am not a criminal. What wrong have I done?” she asked.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Dr Jessie Kabwila said the root cause of human trafficking is poverty, which needs to be addressed.
“Recent studies indicate a shock high rate of child trafficking, where most victims come from the rural areas and are brought to the cities where they are promised jobs as domestic helpers only ending up being forced to work in brothels and bars,” Kabwila told parliament when the House passed the Trafficking in Persons Bill.
Programme co-coordinator for prevention of trafficking in women and children at Norwegian Church Aid Habiba Osman said she would ensure that the matter is brought to the attention of relevant authorities, saying with the passing of Human Trafficking Bill, sex exploitation offenders should be prosecuted.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :