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Daniel Chida

Female BDF soldiers in Mozambique implicated in prostitution rings

Disturbing reports coming from Mozambique suggest that some female Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldiers deployed for SAMIM operations have fallen into a dangerous cycle of prostitution to supplement their income.

With the biggest clientele coming from fellow military counterparts, especially South Africa, the environment is said to be so sexually accommodative, with rounds of sex going for as low as R300.

The sex trade by the female BDF members is said to have been going on for sometime now, leading to one of the culprits being summoned back home for indiscipline. The BDF top brass in Mozambique are said to be turning a blind eye on the trade since some of them are also violating the base rules by either buying prostitutes in Mozambique who are always around the camp or getting sex for free from their juniors. “It is not a secret that our ladies are making extra cash for themselves there through prostitution and no one is bothered. We only have one soldier who was unlucky and was summoned before the BDF Court Marshall at SSKB for hearing,” explained the source who added that the business was good for the local ladies.

Reports suggest that some of the women feel neglected and that although some of the soldiers have filed requests to alleviate their distress, they have not received any help hence their decision to supplement their income through prostitution just to make ends meet. “Majority are forced into the trade so sustain some of the basic needs. Mind you not all have access to their bank accounts, they leave all their bank cards behind and BDF takes time to send them money for toiletry. The desperation for cash is the cause but some are not really desperate for cash but are doing it because there is demand for casual sex from foreign soldiers who shun prostitutes from Mozambique.”

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When contacted by this publication, BDF Spokesperson, Colonel Magosi Moshagane confirmed that three soldiers (one female and two male) were charged for disciplinary offences while deployed in SAMIM. He however said that their cases were not related to prostitution. He further dismissed reports of female soldiers were turning into prostitutes.

“The BDF wishes to state for the record that we are not aware of any reports where some female soldiers deployed in Mozambique for SAMIM operations are engaged in any form of prostitution. Furthermore, please note that there are no service members appearing before Court Marshal on charges of prostitution.”

Moshagane explained that the BDF occasionally undertake disciplinary proceedings against service members who conduct themselves in a manner that contravenes the BDF Act thus compromising good order and discipline in military. The recent batch which left has 358 soldiers from different units.

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