More face the music as Kuwait saga deepens

Source: More face the music as Kuwait saga deepens | The Herald May 19, 2016

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
POLICE in Harare have arrested a Kuwait embassy official and three suspects as investigations into the human trafficking saga deepen.

Brenda Avril May (62), a secretary at the embassy, was re-arrested after fresh charges emerged.

May has pending similar charges before the courts.

She recruited Joyleen Muchengu on the pretext that she was going to work as a nurse aide for former Kuwaiti Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmed Al-Jeeran’s brother, Bader Khaled.

On reaching Kuwait, Muchengu was sold and forced to do menial jobs.

Police also arrested Jethro Madakasi (23), a policeman based in Mutare.

He reportedly lured Sandra Chikomwe on the pretext that he had secured employment for her before demanding $50 which he said was for processing police clearance and a medical report.

The other two are Nyasha Bako (29) and Lucia Makwangwa (41), who are accused of sending four women to Kuwait where they were turned into slaves.

Twelve people have been arrested in connection with the case so far.

The suspects have since appeared in court and were represented by Mr David Dhumbura of Coghlan Welsh and Guest, Mr Obey Zimbodza from Zimbodza and Associates and Mr Liberty Gono of Machaya and Associates.

The quartet appeared on separate records before Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe.

May, Madakasi and Makwangwa were freed on $500 bail each. They were ordered to report to the police three times a week.

Bako was denied bail after the State proved that he was a flight risk.

Prosecuting, Mr Peter Kachirika submitted that Bako had been on the run since March.

The Prosecutor-General’s Office consented to a free bail for May on the basis that she was already on bail while Madakasi and Makwangwa had been ordered to pay $300 bail, but Mr Chikwekwe overturned the State’s decision and ordered the quartet to pay $500 each.

They were remanded to June 14.

Mr Kachirika alleged May processed a visa and air ticket for Muchengu after misrepresenting to her that she was going to work as a nurse aide for Bader Khaled Al-Jeeran.

Muchengu left Zimbabwe on October 14 and upon arrival in Kuwait, she was whisked away by an unidentified agent while her passport was confiscated.

At the hands of her employer, Muchengu worked for long hours, was not given food and was not allowed to leave the house. The court heard that Madakasi, who connived with his alleged accomplice, Progress Mehlo based in Kuwait, misrepresented to Chikomwe that he had connections in Kuwait and had secured a job for her as a maid where she would be paid $700 per month.

He allegedly processed a visa and air ticket for her and she left the coun- try.

It is the State’s case that Bako and Makwangwa connived and recruited Zviito Kaurimbo, Tariro Muza, Emmaculate Mujeyi and Hazvinei Garanewako.

When they got to Kuwait their passports and mobile phones were confiscated and they were placed under house arrest where they were abused and worked as maids for long hours without food.

They were later rescued by Zimbabwean Embassy officials in Kuwait who facilitated their return home.

So far suspects that have appeared in court in connection with trafficking are Brenda Avril (31), Lucia Chibayambuya (26), Lawrence Chibayambuya (23), Faith Magora (57), Edgar Muchineripi Gora, Josephine Gondo (26) and Fadzai Nyahondo (19).