Mutare — Holding a Bible and smartly-dressed in a formal executive wear, Memory Dube* could be mistaken as an office executive. But alas, she is a hardcore prostitute masquerading as a Christian.
“I am desperate for marriage and at the same time looking for decent clients, who would take care of me,” she said. “I can be married if I pretend to be a Christian. I have friends who were prostitutes and they are married now.”
Dube, who religiously attends lunch-time prayers at one of the Pentecostal churches in the city centre, is one of the breed of prostitutes that have invaded the mountainous city of Mutare. They pretend to be true Christians by day and turn to hookers by night for survival.
“Our brothers from the church do not go to night clubs, where we will be doing our errands with other clients,” said Dube. “Then during the day, we will be chasing the church guys who will end up marrying us.”
Another hooker, who identified herself only as Shylet, said they usually had unprotected sex with the brothers from the church but insisted on using condoms with the clients from the bars.
“The church brothers do not use condoms because they say they want to marry us,” said Shylet. “Since we are desperate for marriage, we do not have any options but to give in.”
She added that she was targeting the church men because they were not exposed to the hassle and bustle of night club life.
“Those guys who frequent nightclubs do not marry because some of them know us,” she said, adding that she was prepared to settle down once she found someone who could marry her.
A pastor with a popular church here confirmed female “born again” Christians were flocking to churches in the hope of finding decent people who could marry them.
“We are having a lot of confessions from prostitutes who are saying they are born again,” said the pastor. “We feel that they have repented, but we are having problems with others who are snatching other people’s husbands in the church.”
He said several church goers had fallen prey to the sex workers and ended up marrying them.
“They come to our church in the afternoon and pretend to be Christians and go to night clubs during the night where they sell sex. It has become complicated.” he said.
Simon Gandi of The Christian Life Ministries, said most people were falling prey to the ladies of the night because it was difficult to distinguish between a hooker and a true Christian in a short space of time.
“They are doing it secretly,” said Gandi. “One cannot be able to see that a certain female church member is a prostitute.”
David Kamunda, a prayer group leader with Christ Embassy Church said: “We do not prevent people from coming to our church. We call upon all sinners to come and receive salvation. We cannot close doors on sinners they should come and receive God and have their sins forgiven.”
A youth leader with The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Moses Danha, also confirmed the new trend where prostitutes come to church to look for marriage.
“I understand that unmarried women in Zimbabwe have become very desperate and they can do anything,” said Danha.
“We have experienced that in our church. We have cases where our male church members have married these prostitutes who come into our church masquerading as born again Christians.”