By Abednico Siambombe
The pronunciation of presumptive tax on commercial sex workers in 2017 by Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa cannot be an alternative to saving the tumbling economy. This indicates how ignorant and dangerous governments can be sometimes to people swimming in deep pools of poverty. Here is a serious precarious situation where the saving hand is no longer gracious but advancing oppression and gender disparity despite the efforts being made to empower women and move them out of the great fiasco of pandemic HIV/AIDS disease and the common enemy of humanity which comes in the name of poverty.
Zimbabwe’s economy is currently at the bottom of the sea. If the country was human, the presence of the physicians would be essential at this point to attend the country which is on the death bed without anyone willing to offer a cup of water to the patient. This is a point where working together is a necessity for political parties, economists and the whole nation and ignoring the winner takes all principle is inevitable in such times.
Taxing commercial sex workers for Zimbabwe may seem to be an invincible decision today yet the consequences will call for billions of dollars in the future to abate the effects generated by this policy if enacted to be a legal binding framework for Zimbabweans in this age. Though Zimbabwe has gone a commendable mile in the fight against HIV/AIDS, this effort will be drastically reduced to nothing soon after the taxation of the ladies of the night as more suffering from economic deficiency will be pulled into the industry seeking for means of putting bread on the table for their families.
There is an element of ignorance which has been assimilated by the policy makers as they were in a verge of coming up with this tremendous economic resolution to the sick economy. The principle of humanity has been put aside which means that the state will lack morality and dignity. Zimbabwe is likely to have a cultural dissipation in the coming decades and identity crisis will take a lead. Constitutionally prostitution has been legalised by abolishing the arrest of woman on the aspect of loitering, but taxing woman is likely to corner them to the perilous position in human survival.
The minister has shown no sympathy on the issue of gender mainstreaming in this case. The engagement by woman into sexual work is not a passion that is deep from their hearts, instead sex for money comes as result of the government’s failure to provide its own people with better jobs and decent life. This should not be taken lightly although some would go with an old adage that prostitution is the oldest profession, which is a cliché worth eliminating for the achievement of a better world for both woman and man.
In 2013, ZANU-PF promised 2 million jobs to the people if they were sent into the government offices and given the responsibility to control the nation, however this has become a shuttered dream and turned to be the essential form of trampling woman’s rights and a loss of hope to a better future when the same government is to draining the poor woman’s ill-gotten income. This is by no means going to have an admirable solution to the state’s bog and the government cannot be commended for providing jobs in the form of prostitution. No woman can be happy to tell her kids that her work is selling sex to strangers on daily basis regardless of their body conditions at any moment.
If the government of Zimbabwe is so enthusiastic of fixing the broken economy, the start should be its economic policies repelling investment both local and international. Most of the economic policies seem to be drafted in anger and desire to revenge the old white economic injustices without focussing on the survival of the current and future generations.
The world is now a global village which needs maximum cooperation economically, technologically and even politically. The state cannot by any means undo the colonial errors, but has to fight for the good of the people and concentrate on ensuring that there is a win-win situation in the times of regionalism, globalisation or international cooperation. Though China is a potential partner to the African government, the ignorance of the West is also a mistake to avoid. Thus the Zimbabwe government should be in a position to consider re-engagement with the former economic partners to heal the economic disease at hand.
The solution to the economic flaws is neither regime change nor the changing of the political parties vying for governmental posts. The state is in a situation where the creations of institutions of cooperate governance is a necessity and greatly upheld minimising corruption as it is a shadow without trails and now in every state institute. Both private and public sectors of the economy are now immersed in the veins of corruption and resorting to the vagina economy is disastrous for the government.
Taxing sex workers is trussing women to the strings of poverty and the return of gender disparity as only woman will be levied when promiscuity is done by both sexes. This is an unfair distribution of poverty upon societies by the government. Women are entitled to better jobs as human beings and side-lining them in the making of the economy and shaping human history is so tremendous to state prosperity.