Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. The Government says it plans to repatriate more Zimbabweans who are stranded in Oman, an Arab country located in Western Asia.
The Zimbabwean nationals, the majority of who were females, were lured into slavery through false promises of well-paying domestic work in Oman.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage permanent secretary Major-General (retired) Dr. Gerald Gwinji said 107 women and men were repatriated from Middle Eastern country.
However, according to the Government’s database, about 21 Zimbabweans remain stranded in the country. Said Gwinji:
In response to distress calls made by victims of trafficking in Oman, the Government of Zimbabwe allocated resources through Treasury for the repatriation of 107 Zimbabwean nationals.
Of the people repatriated back to Zimbabwe, 105 were female and two were male.
There have been several reports of Zimbabweans who have fallen victim to traffickers.
Using information extracted from the reports, a WhatsApp platform was created to facilitate coordination and to have an appreciation of the number of victims of human trafficking and, as of December 2022, at least 128 people have been trafficked to Oman, with the majority having been repatriated by Government.
Furthermore, Government is considering carrying out the second phase of the repatriation exercise to bring back stranded Zimbabwean nationals in our database.
… A total of 69 cases of trafficking in persons (TIP) involving 139 victims of trafficking were recorded and investigated.
Seven suspects were arrested for TIP in 2022 and are currently in custody pending trial, while three were arrested for domestic trafficking cases.
Police have since launched a manhunt for Jacqueline Takure, nee Chikukwa (45) who is wanted for questioning in connection with suspected human trafficking.
In 2022, Takure allegedly posed as an employment agent and misrepresented to five people that she could facilitate their employment in well-paying hotels in Dubai.
She then facilitated the travel of the victims to Oman where they had their passports confiscated by her accomplices on arrival.
Most Gulf nations enforce the kafala labour system. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the system gives private citizens and companies in Jordan, Lebanon, and most Arab Gulf countries almost total control over migrant workers’ employment and immigration status.
The kafala system resembles a form of indirect slavery, making it harder for migrants to escape such dreadful situations, according to a report.
Female domestic workers who attempt to run away reportedly fall victim to sex traffickers.
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