UNSCRUPULOUS owners of some dilapidated buildings and lodges in Bulawayo which are failing to attract genuine clients of overnight accommodation and businesspeople are allegedly converting their premises into brothels, it has emerged.
Investigations by this reporter revealed that the lodges and premises which had been converted into “short-time resting facilities” had their charges ranging between $5 and $10 an hour while some of the disused buildings have been illegally invaded by sex workers.
Some wayward school children have also joined the great trek to these mushrooming love nests to exchange a lot more of sexual information than academic information.
A snap survey by B-Metro revealed that although the lodges and dilapidated houses were failing to attract their intended and targeted clients their owners were recording brisk business after converting their rooms into short-time resting facilities.
Some owners are allegedly recruiting young girls whom they are using as sex slaves to entertain pleasure seekers frequenting their “rest rooms”.
An investigation at some of the “rest houses” revealed that the city is slowly but surely turning into Sodom and Gomorrah as these brothels are a hit with most of them failing to meet demand for rooms to accommodate lovers who are flocking in droves to entertain each other.
“We are recording brisk business as many people are coming here in droves for short-time sexual encounters. Our business is thriving because most of our clients are adults who are also married so they have nowhere to show their affections except to come to our rest houses which are also far cheaper as compared to hotels and some lodges.
“As you can you see we are failing to cope with the number of clients who are visiting our place and at times we are forced to raise our charges in a bid to capitalize on the high demand,” said a man who was manning the reception of one of the lodges and who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Bookings for short-time resting facilities are in high demand both during the day and night. We are not operating against the law as we are registered as owners of overnight accommodation and even if the police come we just show them our operating licence,” said a lady at one of the booking houses who also preferred anonymity for professional reasons.
Residents of some suburbs located on the periphery of the city centre where the practice is rampant complained that the mushrooming brothels were morally corrupting their children.
They further said the practice by these greedy property owners was also causing their properties to lose value.
“This behaviour by some of these greedy property owners to turn their lodges and houses into brothels is unwelcome as it is morally corrupting our children and causing our properties located close to the city centre to lose value.
“We are praying to law enforcers to clamp down on these mushrooming brothels before they taint the image of our beautiful city.”
Bulawayo Mayor Clr Martin Moyo is on record urging owners of dilapidated buildings to renovate their structures or risk having them demolished and a number of buildings are believed to be owned by foreigners who left the city and opened businesses elsewhere.