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32 Zimbabwe Women Abused in Kuwait Return Home

  • Irwin  Chifera

Social Services Minister Priscah Mupfumira (center), Health Minister David Parirenyatwa (right), Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Social Services Minister Priscah Mupfumira (center), Health Minister David Parirenyatwa (right), Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Thirty-two Zimbabwean women that were trafficked to Kuwait in the Middle East arrived back home Saturday accompanied by a parliamentary delegation lead by Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda.

They were whisked away to what government officials said was a safe place without seeing their relatives or speaking to the media.

The women were met at the Harare International Airport by several government ministers and top state officials.

Public Service and Social Services Minister, Priscah Mupfumira, said government would do everything possible to ensure that the women have a safe home before they are rejoined with their families.

"We have received the girls, 32 of them and we want to respect their dignity and privacy," said Mupfumira.

She said the women will receive social and psychological support and undergo medical examination before being released to their families.

Minister Mupfumira said those women willing to tell their stories would be allowed to do so once all the official processes have been completed.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, said government would interview the women as it wants to get to the bottom of the human trafficking syndicates in both Zimbabwe and Kuwait.

"We are keen to get to the root of this matter especially the syndicates involved in the recruitment and marketing of our girls," he said.

Mumbengegwi said there were more Zimbabweans trapped in Kuwait, adding that government was doing all it can to bring them back home.

Mudenda, whose delegation facilitated the repatriation of the women, said the Zimbabwean women had gone through harrowing and traumatic experiences.

He said the women's condition was so bad that some members of his delegation broke down when they met them in Kuwait.

He said two of them had sought refuge at the Zimbabwean embassy while another two were in police custody.

Mudenda said they were ill-treated by employers who had confiscated their travel documents and clothes.

"These young ladies have brought nothing except their bodies," said Mudenda.

Mumbengegwi and Women Affairs Minister, Nyasha Chikwinya, warned Zimbabweans against taking up job offers abroad, especially where the offers are too good to be genuine.

Zimbabwean reeling under severe economic conditions caused by a crumbling economy are looking for greener pastures all over the world.

The women, some of whom are believed to be pregnant, were taken away to a safe location in a government bus and anxious relatives who were waiting left the airport frustrated.

Journalists were not given opportunity to take pictures or talk to the women.

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