Commercial sex workers in Serenje have continued pressing Serenje District Commissioner, Charles Mwelwa, demanding empowerment funds so that they engage in income generation activities.
A team which was led by Marxian Musonda, 18, Sharon Mwanza 18 and Petronella kunda, 31, stormed Mr Mwelwa’s office over the weekend demanding funds, including the Youth Empowerment Fund, to venture into viable business like other clubs do.
They said there is no justification for government to empower only ex-prisoners who are getting KR1000 from the Department Social Welfare to start their business of their choice, saying sex workers have also been condemned by society and should not be segregated if they want to access government funds as Zambians.
They suggested that government should also extend to them the system that they have used to empower ex-prisoners so that they venture into clean business and stop patronizing bars.
“It is not an easy thing to access money from youth empowerment fund because it has a process of filling in forms, but all we need is to have money which is ready to start business and sustain our children since some of us are double orphans and HIV-AIDS can be reduced on the streets,” they said.
And Mr Mwelwa advised the sex workers that everything has a channel to follow hence the need for them not to lose hope but follow procedure and keep on praying to almighty God until they are answered.
Mr Mwelwa, however, promised to get back to them after consulting other relevant authorities.
Meanwhile, District Social Welfare Officer, Joyce Mukuka, has called on the Sex Workers Association of Zambia in Lusaka to hear to the cry of Serenje sex workers since they have come in open and help them with financial assistance.
And district AIDS Coordinator, Margret Mwamba, thanked the sex workers for their courage and coming in the open to seek assistance from the District Commissioner, saying most of them they feel shy.
Rev Mwamba also called on well-wishers and other organizations to assist the girls so that they could also start a new life instead of keeping on spreading HIV and AIDS to innocent people.