Zimbabwean soldiers have been demanding free sex since Robert Mugabe was removed from power‚ according to the National Aids Council (NAC).
Its report on attitudes and practice towards key populations such as sex workers‚ gays‚ lesbians and drug users revealed that army personnel in some parts of the country were demanding sex at gunpoint.
“Soldiers have become a menace in various areas as they demand free sex especially in the wake of the recent Operation Restore Legacy‚” the report says.
Operation Restore Legacy refers the military takeover of the country in November last year‚ during which Mugabe was placed under house arrest. He resigned six days later as impeachment proceeding started in Parliament.
Soldiers felt entitled to free sex because they believe they brought a renewed form of freedom with the end of Mugabe’s 37-year rule‚ according to the report.
“They claimed to have brought freedom to the country and as such they should be rewarded.”
The report added that police were also in the habit of demanding free sex but soldiers instilled fear in sex workers. “For fear of guns the sex workers end up giving in.”
The research was carried out in towns and rural areas.
Opposition leader Joice Mujuru‚ of the People’s Rainbow Coalition‚ claimed in a letter to President Emmerson Mngangagwa that 3 000 soldiers are using intimidation tactics in their campaign for the ruling Zanu-PF.