Regardless of the ordeals of those trapped and reports of sexual abuses, ill-treatment of trafficked women and subjection to inhuman working conditions ,the subsequent delay in repatriation of these women boggles the mind and is a serious violation international laws and treaties on human rights, says concerned women of Zimbabwe.
Linda T Masarira, Founder and National Coordinator for Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance (ZWIPA) says as fellow women ,they are deeply concerned with the continued trafficking of Zimbabwean women and the slow pace at which the government of Zimbabwe is taking on the repatriation process for those still stranded in Kuwait
“We feel let down and surprised at the slow pace at which the government of Zimbabwe is dealing with the trapped women in Kuwait after a period stretching about a month now, this is a case of misplaced priorities by the government. It is every government’s responsibility to ensure that their citizens are safe regardless of their geographical position worldwide” says Masarira
ZWIPA which is an alliance of women from all political parties in Zimbabwe has called for an emergency relief action to repatriate those affected, a speedy process of finding the perpetrators and their persecution and for future purposes to consider putting legislative measures to ban bogus employment agencies luring women to foreign countries in the fraudulent pretext that they will get lucrative jobs.
“ We also condemn the continual processing of travelling documents to unsuspecting women by the Ministry of Home Affairs and also to that effect, we don’t see any reason why these bogus employment agencies can still be left operating ,they must be immediately banned” , says Norleen Huta, one of the concerned woman.
The Ministry of Home affairs should also stop clearing those who are applying for unclear Kuwait visits as the Ministry knows very well the situation at hand.
“Parliament, which is supposed to be also instrumental in this issue seems to be sleeping on duty, why are parliamentarians not vocal on this? Parliamentarians must move motions for the quick repatriation of these women and the banning of bogus employment agencies. Women legislatures who are members of the women caucus which provided a forum of discussion of matters affecting women in the country, why has it that they are silent about the Kuwait situation?, if they cannot stand up at such a time when women that they purport to represent are facing serious human rights violation, then their mandate is questionable”, said Linda Masarira.
Tendai Lynnet Mudehwe, an activist and also the Chairperson of ZWIPA said the government of Zimbabwe must be accountable for further atrocities being perpetrated on these women as it is its responsibility to ensure that its citizens are evacuated from foreign countries in the face of terror, disaster or any calamity.
“Above everything the government must have by now acted swiftly to bring our women back from Kuwait, we have other countries reacting urgently to repatriate their citizens from troubled countries,
“For example when a church in Nigeria collapsed and killed people, countries like South Africa chartered a plane to evacuate their citizens immediately and went on to compensate the victims, why can’t our government do the same.” said Mudehwe
ZWIPA also calls on the Zanu Pf led government to honor its pledge to create employment, stop siege on foreign companies and company closures as this is contributing immensely to human trafficking as most women are now living in abject poverty and desperation, which leads them to fall prey to bogus employment agencies.
The situation has also been aggravated by the “Zuva saga” which culminated into the Supreme Court allowing companies to terminate employee contracts wantonly on three month’s notice. After the infamous court judgment millions of Zimbabweans were left jobless and in poverty.
Meanwhile, there are emerging reports that former Kuwait Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmed Al-Jeeran working in cahoots with his secretary Brenda Avril May have been implicated as the ring leader in the human trafficking syndicate that has so far seen more than 200 female job seekers .