Some relatives of women and girls lured to Kuwait in the Middle East to seek green pastures are seeking help for their safe return to Zimbabwe.
The relatives say some of the so-called Kuwait employment agencies are now refusing to disclose their locations, demanding payment of up to $3,000 each for those that want to terminate long-term contracts.
At least 200 women were lured to go and work in Kuwait after they were promised lucrative jobs by the agents. Some of them have now been turned into commercial sex workers and slaves. Indications are that 180 are still in that nation.
A relative of a 21 year-old lady that is being allegedly abused in Kuwait, who only wanted to be known as Mrs. Mary Ndoro, said her family has not heard from the young lady since Easter.
“We are currently unaware of her location as she appears to have been moved from one employer to the next after her parents reported her former employer for abuse to the local police who investigated the case that led to some of agents being brought before the courts in Harare a few weeks ago,” said Mrs. Ndoro.
She said her family was not in a position to raise the exorbitant fees being demanded by agents in Kuwait for the safe return of her niece or even for information on her current whereabouts.
She called on the government to bring to book those involved in the human trafficking of young Zimbabwean girls and women urgently as the situation is deteriorating daily especially for family members in foreign lands.
“We are worried daily of what will become of our niece the lady who recruited her also recruited other girls from her neighborhood and their parents are also facing the same predicament. What is so disappointing is that the Zimbabwean agent who recruited my niece was a lady from church, who the neighborhood entrusted with their daughters hoping the Kuwait stint who improve the lives of all families involved but now it’s become a nightmare,” said Mrs. Ndoro.
Some women rights organisations have in the past tried to protest against the trafficking of women and girls to Kuwait but riot police crushed the march and arrested three of the women that participated in the event.
Zimbabwe Human Trafficking Protest ZIWPO
One of the organizations, which arranged the protest the Women in Politics Alliance in conjunction with other women activists groups, has vowed to continue the fight until all women and girls held against their will in Kuwait are brought back home.