Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Tapiwanashe Mutangaidze presented a ministerial paper on child prostitution titled “Recorded commercial child sexual exploitation in Harare” on Wednesday.
Mutangaidze gave details on the children who first appeared on a programme on Star FM. He said that his ministry launched an investigation of the case through engaging the Star FM and Katswe Sisterhood which had sponsored the programme. They have removed 73 children from Hopley and Epworth. Said Matangaidze:
After these initial investigations, our officers and the Katswe representatives went and removed 73 children to date from Hopley and Epworth. From the 73 children, 54 were from Hopley and 19 from Epworth.
He also said Government will also launch a blitz in all provinces to rescue other children who are being exploited for sex. Said Matangaidze:
The exercise will be rolled out to all the 10 provinces of the country and is being treated as an urgent matter.
Below are the details of the victims:
FINDINGS FROM THE ASSESSMENTS CARRIED OUT
From the needs assessments that were carried out, 71 girls were school drop outs due to financial hardships in their families. Two girls from Epworth were in school and are sitting for their O’ level this October.
- Medical examinations were conducted by partners.
- From the 73 children, 28 were not sexually exploited, the rest of them had been sexual exploited.
- One of the girls is on Anti-Retroviral Treatment
Twenty five (25) girls do not have birth certificates.