Rescued trafficking victims expected today

Source: Rescued trafficking victims expected today | The Herald April 30, 2016

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Thirty-two Zimbabwean women who were lured to Kuwait to work as housemaids, but ended up as sex slaves, are expected back in the country today after a Parliamentary delegation secured their evacuation from the gulf country. A Parliamentary delegation led by National Assembly Speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda and chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs Cde Kindness Paradza, which went to Kuwait at the weekend, secured the release of the 32 young women among about 200 Zimbabwean women believed to be captives.

The women were located with the help of the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Kuwait, Mr Mark Grey Marongwe. A local businessman, Mr Wicknell Chivayo chipped in with air tickets to have the women flown home following a request by Adv Mudenda.

Cde Paradza confirmed yesterday that all travel documents had been processed and air tickets issued out. “All the tickets have arrived and we are leaving Kuwait at midnight via Dubai and will be arriving in Harare at 5pm,” he said.

“We have identified five more who are still in captivity and are crying for help. The embassy here is working flat out to make sure all those girls who were brought here under false pretences are accounted for and brought back home,” he said.

“What is disgusting is that one of the girls is now pregnant from sexual abuse. Ambassador Marongwe also told Adv Mudenda and his delegation that one of the girls was now mentally disturbed from excessive abuse while in captivity.”

Cde Paradza said slavery was a multi-billion-dollar industry in Kuwait as it was encouraged by a section of that country’s laws.

“We want the Government to ban the issuance of visas to Kuwait under Articles 18 and 20 which commit our girls into slavery. as This removes the person’s rights on arrival in Kuwait. The law gives total authority over anyone coming under that visa,” said Cde Paradza.

“In Harare, we have arranged that the Speaker will on arrival hand over the girls to Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Priscah Mupfumira and her Health and Child Care counterpart Dr David Parirenyatwa. Government will take over after the handover,” he said.

 “The girls will be taken to a safe house where they will be counselled and debrief our security services. We are grateful to the Zimbabwean Embassy and Registrar-General, Cde Tobaiwa Mudede in Harare, who worked flat out to issue Emergency Travel Documents to the 23 girls whose passports were confiscated by their captors.”

Cde Paradza said Adv Mudenda was appealing for clothes and other toiletries to give the women because they ran away from their captors leaving behind all their clothes and documents such as passports. He said their delegation also identified four Zimbabwean women who were working in cahoots with human traffickers.

“They use Whatsapp pictures and messages lying to innocent girls back home that domestic work is a lucrative job here in Kuwait. The truth is it’s all slavery and slavery.

“The traffickers target young and pretty girls aged between 17 and 22 who are HIV negative so that they can be used as sex slaves. All in all the Speaker would like to pay tribute to Wicknell Chivayo for providing the air tickets,” said Cde Paradza.

Mr Chivayo yesterday said he was elated that the women were finally coming home and that he would have wanted to welcome them at the airport.

“The Speaker of Parliament Honourable Jacob Mudenda had requested me to be available at the airport to welcome my sisters and meet their families but unfortunately I have a very important business meeting in Paris, France that I have to attend. I will definitely be with them in spirit,” he said.

“But I instructed my finance manager to wait for the women and give each of them $100 for transport to their respective homes.

“I did this sincerely out of the goodness of my heart. So meeting them face to face or having their bunch of relatives thanking me in numbers was never the objective. Best wishes to all of them and may the Lord bless them,” said the businessman.

Mr Chivayo said he had faced a backlash from some online media organizations particularly from Britain and the United States of America for assisting the women.

“They were shouting at me for helping the women saying I should not have assisted them because it is Government’s responsibility.

“But I believe that every good citizen must always chip in whenever they can instead of waiting for the Government to do everything. Instead these people should be glad that I have assisted our sisters who were being abused,” he said.


  • comment-avatar

    Thanx Mr Chivayo 4 the gesture u hv extended to our sisters,may da Almighty grant u many many more years 2 come.