Maputo — Industry regulators have closed down seven hotels in southern Mozambique as the country cracks down on prostitution. The Inspection of Economic Activities (INAE) shut the facilities in Inhambane Province following indications they were abusing their licences by making bookings for hookers.
Authorities said some of these hotels were located near schools and hence were allegedly exposing the youngsters to prostitution. "We told the owners that renting bedrooms for short periods is not correct and that they cannot do such a thing. Prostitution is an immoral act," said INAE head of operations in Inhambane, Higino Luciano. Luciano said the hotels were also a health hazard due to lack of water among other problems.
The hotels have been cashing in on clients including students and public servants. "It is immoral. We did not provide them licensing for prostitution activities," Luciano said. Recently, INAE accused some massage houses in the capital Maputo, accusing them of promoting prostitution, contrary to their licenses. While prostitution is legal and widely practiced in Mozambique, the Southern African country has a problem of illegal brothels. Traffickers manipulate women and girls from neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi into forced prostitution.