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U.S Seeking Ways of Working With Zimbabwe On Curbing Human Trafficking

Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. is an African American.

Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. is an African American.

United States Ambassador to Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry Thomas Jnr. says America is looking at ways of working with the Zimbabwean government to end human trafficking.

In a breakfast meeting with journalists in Harare today, Ambassador Thomas Jnr., said stories of the 32 Zimbabweans women who recently returned from Kuwait had brought to the fore dangers of human trafficking which has now become a global problem.

Zimbabweans desperate to eke out a living have been taken advantage of by human traffickers who recruit and market them abroad.

Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo told a press conference in Harare that the Zimbabwe government was committed to ending human trafficking.

After failing to raise air fares for all the 32 women from Kuwait early this month, Chombo said government now has resources to bring home all victims of human trafficking who are in Kuwait.

He said so far 70 women have been brought back home from Kuwait while 16 others are now living at Zimbabwean embassy in Kuwait waiting for air tickets.

At the same time, Ambassador Thomas Jnr. also urged the government to find human rights activists Itai Dzamara.

Ambassador Thomas Jnr., who has been in the country for a few months now, said he has already met with leaders of many political parties including Zane PF, Movement for Democratic Change formations, Zimbabwe People First and People’s Democratic Party.

He said the United States would work with civil society to advance human rights, governance and media freedom, among other issues.

Ambassador Thomas Jnr. further noted that they are currently reviewing civil society organizations to identify the most appropriate one to work with. The U.S, he said, was keen to see the full implementation of Zimbabwe’s constitution adopted in 2013.

On targeted sanctions, Ambassador Thomas Jnr. said individuals affected by the restrictive measures were free to apply for their removal. The sanctions were imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle for alleged human rights violations and election rigging.

He said the U.S supports economic reform in Zimbabwe but it’s entirely the responsibility of the government to create a conducive environment for economic prosperity through clarity on policies such as the indigenization law.

The U.S government is the leading donor in Zimbabwe as it is providing millions of dollars in aid annually to alleviate hunger, tackle HIV as well as funding education and exchange programs for local people.