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Zimbabwe clamps down on male hookers

FEMALE coppers posed as prostitutes to lure the male hookers

By Staff Reporter

WHO said prostitutes were exclusively female?

Zimbabwean police have blown huge holes to that age-old myth -- partly fuelled by their own bias and deliberate targeting of female sex workers -- by arresting 11 male hookers on the streets of the capital, Harare.

The male hookers were nabbed by cops under an operation code-named 'No to Prsostitution' -- the official Herald newspaper reported.

"Also caught in the dragnet were 35 women, who were charged with loitering for the purposes of prostitution. Police said all the suspects were arrested between 8pm on Friday and early Saturday morning in the city’s Avenues area," the paper said.

The paper went on to name the kerb-crawlers who paid $25 000 (about £3) admission of guilt fines.

They were listed as Hussein Jafter Chehaal, Penelope Chisenga, Renias Mawere, Edmond Siduna, Smart Nyamunda, Romeo Nyamunda, Richard Munhumumwe, Brian Shadaya, Frank Harrington, Munyaradzi Mandisodza and Farai Mtetwa.

"The operation was launched last week as part of police efforts to wipe out vice from the streets of the city," the paper's crime reporter helpfully explained. "It was targeted at men who drive and loiter around certain areas, known hangouts of prostitutes, with the aim of picking up ladies of the night."

Chief Superintendent Silence Pondo told the Herald that female police officers were disguised as prostitutes and deployed in a ploy to lure the suspects.
He said policemen kept an eye on their "soliciting" female counterparts from a short distance and this helped in nabbing some of the kerb-crawlers.

Chief Supt Pondo indicated the operation would stay in place "until such practices were put to an end."

The Herald said the operation was the first since the early 1970s that targets men seeking the services of prostitutes.

In the 1970s, a list of men who had paid deposit fines the previous evening after being caught in the police trap along the then red light district in Pioneer (now Kaguvi) Street was published daily by The Herald and became the talking point of the city.

Several prominent men complained directly to the top echelons of the colonial British South Africa Police but The Herald had won a legal battle allowing it to publish the names of those who paid the deposit fines as an admission of guilt.
The right to publish names was extended to include a number of big names who had been found in possession of pornographic material, the paper said.

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