Custodians of morality

Masola waDabudabu

WHEN men come home empty-handed from food hunting or gathering expeditions, women resort to using their in-built resources to come up with stomach-filling solutions.

Through natural instincts, women bear the ultimate responsibility of ensuring that their families are sufficiently fed and that minimum security requirements are in place to protect members against environmental and climatic adversities.

Unrelenting suffering caused by the ongoing adverse economic and political turmoil in Zimbabwe is rocking the core of families leading to most women taking desperate measures to ensure their sustenance. The women have found themselves shamefully queueing to offer their bodies to men in acts that defile their personal sanctity.

If this be an unfounded allegation against the suffering womenfolk of Zimbabwe, then it would be mischief on the part of the writer. It is a naked truth that many of our women engage in acts of iniquity.

It is not a sweeping claim that In their struggles to feed their families, suffering Zimbabwean women have sold their bodies to men who are neither their boyfriends – if not married – nor their husbands if married.

It is the naked reality that can be watched like a blockbuster movie on the streets of cities, on footpaths in growth points and behind bushes that barely give cover in villages.

Apologies for the harshness, but then life is harsh and survival is about acknowledging the harshness of the situation. The harsh realities of survival are leading women into defiling the holiness of the wombs that nurture the nation’s off-springs.

Deprivation is forcing Zimbabwean women both within and outside the borders of Zimbabwe to voluntarily submit themselves to abuse by men for the survival of their families.

The rot is evident everywhere. Girls, so young and so graceful, fall prey to the insatiable desires of adventure-seeking men. Very mature women with statures that command unparalleled respect, succumb to the experimental approaches of men young enough to be their sons. This happens with no restraint.

The capital city Harare is an epitome of Sin City. Harare’s avenues provide a showroom for women intending to sell their natural wares. Married women report at the Avenues as if going to the office for a day’s work.

They flash their frontal views to passing vehicles as if displaying office memos. Harare, the citadel of the opulent and headquarters of all dirty deals has many women who resort to prostituting themselves due to desperation.

Go to Bulawayo and traverse her streets. You will see women hunting for the hunters of womankind. Young schoolgirls prowl the streets and boulevards of the city to catch the eyes of moneyed boys and old men. Married women seek men here and more men there.

Gutu Mpandawana is like a re-incarnation of Sodom and Gomorrah. This is a place of lewdness and unequalled immorality. Generally, there is sexual activity everywhere; in bars, on streets and behind small bushes that can hardly conceal any sordid act of fornication.

It is a shame really as desperate women give it to any man who can pay for it.

Women compete to get the attention of men whose breath is diseased by the putrid smell of alcohol. Women do not care about the possibility of the men’s male members being laden with the fiends that cause incurable diseases. Women seem to have an inbuilt ability to park any feelings of shame and guilt in the darkest part of their conscience.

Some of the women have families that are headed by men who used to be provident, but are now jobless, hopeless and desperately helpless.

Women are forced to choose between maintaining their dignity and saving their families. How can one maintain a sense of dignity when one’s children are starving to death? They end up sacrificing their dignity.

The desperation is everywhere; Mount Darwin, Plumtree, Gokwe, Victoria Falls, Hillbrow, Chivhu and everywhere. Schoolgirls submit themselves to the crafty conquests of adventurous men. It is not in the name of fun or pleasure, but for the purpose of putting food on shaky tables. It is a sad state of affairs.

It is difficult to totally blame the women for resorting to immorality in their genuine quest to feed their families. The blame lies fairly and squarely on the government.

Robert Mugabe’s government has created a country of small-time traders who specialise in oriental trinkets. The country has no long-term strategy for formalising the economy and for ensuring food security.

Conditions are ripe for the country’s women to continue looking for solutions to the hunger equation in their role as nature’s last line of familial defence.

Most will sell their bodies in a process that increases their likelihood of acquiring viruses detrimental to health. Unfortunately, the HIV scourge may start eating the population away. We despair.

Masola waDabudabu is a social commentator