By Staff Reporter
When famous journalist Leonard (name changed to protect his family) shot himself to death recently, many of his colleagues wondered why. After all, Leonard had ‘arrived’, so to speak. With the help of his wife, Hazel, who had abandoned her poorly-paid teaching job in Zimbabwe to go to the United Kingdom to work as a nurse, he had bought a house in a respectable part of Harare.
Leonard had never wanted his wife to go and work in the UK. But when he lost his job at a leading financial newspaper, he found himself at the ‘deep end’: freelance journalism and irregular PR and consultancy work. He had no choice but to let her go despite his fears, which were soon realised when Hazel, through a Nigerian colleague, fell into the hands of the UK’s notorious criminal underworld as a prostitute. Being a married professional made her vulnerable to blackmail and thus attractive to Nigerian crooks, who used her to solicit from loaded Ukrainians, Middle Easterners and Asians. Eventually, Hazel built a mansion in Borrowdale and established a clothing business in the city centre from the proceeds of crime in the UK.
Investigations by Now Daily have now exposed a massive illicit sex racket stretching from Harare to the UK, involving women who are often involved with two men or more at once, living with them in different countries, risking HIV/AIDS. This was the real reason for Leonard’s suicide. His wife was living with another man in the UK, apart from working as a part-time prostitute, all taboo actions in Zimbabwe. Leonard discovered this and told a few friends and close relatives. To cover her tracks, Hazel made his visa application fail repeatedly for ten years by entering wrong information. Leonard had not seen his wife since he gave her a farewell hug at Harare airport as she took off on a perilous journey that has ruined many marriages in Zimbabwe. But she sent money regularly as Leonard was taking care of their two children, a boy and a girl who were going to school.
Now Daily found that a large number of mansions and businesses built by some cunning women in the diaspora are built from the proceeds of prostitution.
Leonard was shocked to discover that his wife had joined the bandwagon of Zimbabwean women who use the anonymity of the UK to peddle their bodies for cash. Collectively these ‘naughty wives’ sell sex and send home millions every year. The figures are crucial to the economic survival of this southern African nation, where epic unemployment of 96 percent has made men depend on the migratory skills of their wives for survival. The husbands, like Leonard and other executives who were too embarrassed to go to the UK to take up nursing jobs, are all too happy about the cash, material benefits and new status in society to monitor the behaviour of their wives abroad.
According to a United States government report, sex trafficking of Zimbabwean women is rampant in the UK and growing as the economic situation unravels for the migrants back home.
Nigerian websites such as nairaland often carry lively discussions about the reputed sensuality of Zimbabwean women, who are often desperate and want sex and everything else to happen fast so they get paid and send money to their husbands and relatives. Many Zimbabwean women offer themselves for sale on match-making services like Meetup and antipodate, giving false profiles and claiming to be single, in violation of rules.
The State Department report says many of the women are lured to the UK with false promises of jobs and are then turned into sex slaves.