HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:
ALARMED by the number of children who are reported to be abused under the “guise” of selling sex.
CONCERNED that Government’s response has been targeted at those that have exposed this evil practice.
NOW THEREFORE calls upon the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to immediately give a Ministerial Statement on this matter.
AND FURTHER calls upon the Inter-Ministerial Task Force set by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to expeditiously investigate the matter and report be tabled in Parliament by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. As I move this motion, let me preface it by thanking first the Hon. Speaker for having prioritised this particular motion. Initially, he had suggested that this motion come in as an urgent motion and then proposed that it is put on the Order Paper and it is given priority. Secondly, let me then thank our Government Chief Whips for allowing me to have priority and to raise this motion.
I raise this motion with the heaviest of hearts. This motion speaks about children who are reported to being abused under the guise of selling sex. Before I get into the merit of this particular motion, let me just say I worry about how we as a nation prioritise certain things. I was at a police station this morning, my sister has been involved in an accident and as I sat in that police station, I heard how police were being deployed to go and organise the queues where people are waiting to get fuel. Immediately I said to myself, why is it that when there is something that affects us as adults, we are very quick to address it and yet when we hear something that is as horrendous as what we have been subjected to in the past two to four weeks, nothing has been done. We have not heard a Ministerial Statement that comes to this House and says we are shocked that this is happening in this particular country.
Let me explain what I am talking about. On the 14th August 2017, I was invited by a group called Katswe Sisterhood. They had invited me to come and hear the stories of children who were engaged in sex. When I went to this meeting myself and Hon Maridadi who is supposed to be seconder of this motion, I had assumed that perhaps I was going to see children who are about 17 or 16 years. I was shocked as I sat in that room. These were not children that were coming from one particular community, they were children coming from different parts of this country. I sat there and looked at babies. I looked at children who are 8 and 9 years describing what it is that it means to be in the streets as they get paid 25c mostly by men who are about 60 or 65 years. I sat in that room and for two hours, I did nothing but cry my eyes out because as you looked at these children, most of them had lost their mothers and fathers. It was clear that the majority of them were sick. So, as we were being told that this is a six year old or an eight year old child, they looked more like four or five year olds because of their stunted growth. We know that this is happening in our communities. There are men that are going and picking these children and most of them hardly have breasts.
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