Stop the harrassment of women by touts, we are tired of being groped

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Women across the African continent use public transport to reach their desired destination, one of the reasons being that it is what they can afford. In Zimbabwe however, local authorities tend to leave public transport operators using undesignated termini, where touts, commonly referred to as "mahwindi" harass travellers, forcing them into transport of these "mahwindi"' s choice. Women are at the receiving end most of the time because in order for them to instill fear in the women, these touts grope and touch them inappropriately. They threaten to harm them or steal from them if they refuse to board a bus of their choice. They will even threaten to beat you up if you do not comply. They even go to the extent of roughing you up, pushing and shoving you or even steal from you until you board the bus/car of their choice. I have fallen victim to these mahwindi several times, and recently, I had my breast and butt grabbed by these touts on my way to Bulawayo from Harare. Most of the time this happens in the full glare of the police and nothing is done even if they see that a woman has been harassed. We are not safe because we are constantly afraid of being on our own when looking for transport. Reporting to the patroling police officers is of no use because they do not even act on behalf of the victim. These touts mostly target women because they know they can get away with it. As women, we can nolonger travel freely and safely without being in the company of a man. The police are ignoring this criminal menace, that if left unresolved, it will further stifle the freedom of women. We are tired of being groped by mahwindi in the presence of the police! Please sign this petition so that women can travel freely and safely on their own. We deserve freedom. Police muct act now. We cannot continue losing our dignity because we cannot afford expensive transport, unless this country does not have rule of law, or maybe these touts are above the law.



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