Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Government last Friday dispatched teams to Epworth, Caledonia, Hopley and Hatcliffe in Harare to identify and profile children engaging in prostitution for survival.
In an interview with the media on Friday after visiting Katswe Sisterhood offices in Harare following revelations by the organisation that a nine-year-old girl was engaging in prostitution, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said appropriate action was going to be taken to stop such ills.
“It is Government’s responsibility to protect and look after all children who are vulnerable and in need,” she said. “We have to be informed and if we know about it, whether through communities or parliamentarians, we will act upon it. “Unfortunately, we were not aware, but as from now, we are going to take appropriate action that the children be looked after by Government.”
Minister Mupfumira chided Katswe Sisterhood for operating without being registered as a Private Voluntary Organisation. She criticised the media for airing a programme on radio which exposed the nine-year-old, saying it was against the rights of children.
“We need the privacy of the children to be protected,” said Minister Mupfumira. “It was wrong for the media to interview one of the vulnerable children who used a pseudo name as Lady B and expose her to social media platforms, as it is an abuse of her human rights.
“We have a fully-fledged department of social welfare to look after every child. Culturally, the community also has a responsibility to look after children and report if they identify any social ills taking place.”
Katswe Sisterhood director Talent Jumo welcomed Government’s intervention.