April 11 2019 – THE economic meltdown in Zimbabwe has not spared anyone including those who are trying to fight it sucking in many Zimbabwean women especially who are into cross border trading, who are more and more finding themselves at the mercy of long distance bus drivers who abuse and rape them in exchange for free transport for them and their goods.
An investigation by this publication unearthed high level of rape and abuse of female cross border traders to sell their wares in South Africa.
A thirty -four year old Yeukai( not real name) of Masvingo whom this publication asked about how she is managing to transport so many goods across the border some of them illegal said all one has to do if she is a woman is to have sex with bus drivers and their conductors.
” I want my family to survive at all cost so these bus drivers are helping most women. I transport mazoe orange crush and smuggle cigarettes to South Africa and these drivers help us but for them to help us we have to have Sex with,” says Yeukai.
Some women especially at Johannesburg’s New Town and Pretoria’s Bosman bus terminus could be seen waiting for particular buses and a tout who spoke on condition of anonymity said some are girlfriends of particular drivers.
” These women don’t just catch any bus but wait for particular drivers ( names supplied) not because the buses are cheap but some are in love with the drivers and conductors and they want drivers to help them smuggle their wares across the border for free in exchange for sex” says one tout at New Town bus station.
At the border the drivers and conductors make sure that their lover luggage go through duty free or pass through unnoticed either by paying less to border patrol officers.
“Mukwasha tingaite sei varume vedu havachashanda saka isu totoita kuti tose tirarame” said one young lady only identified as Madhuve as she board a bus from Bosman Pretoria to Zimbabwe.
A bus driver (name supplied) was very open about this saying Zimbabwean women are good at pitching themselves at us and we end up sleeping with them.
“The problem is once you do that they will use you. I got colleagues who have married some of these ladies some of them even end up getting married ” said the driver.
Not to be out-done are truck drivers who also abuse the women by offering the women free transport and take advantage of the often desperate women, having sex in exchange for free transport.
A Zimbabwean man who lives in Johannesburg’s Hillbrow surburb says his marriage ended up in divorce because of these truck drivers, who drive for reputable truck companies .
” I lost my wife to one truck driver who used to travel from South Africa to DRC. The truck driver would pick my wife in karoi en-route to DRC and spend weeks with her only to come back with food and clothes for resale at a flea market in Karoi” said a disgruntled man who declined to be named.
According to the man the incident made the couple and he migrated to South Africa.
” I was tipped by my wife’s friend to track her movements only to discover them cuddling in Zambia. I was angry but with nothing to do, I just woke up and come to South Africa and from 2015 no one knows that I am here including my relatives” says the man who refused to be named.