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Zimbabwe Police Block Anti-Human Trafficking Protest

Police in Zimbabwe block protesters demanding the return of women stranded in Kuwait. (Photo: Mavis Gama)

Some Zimbabwean gender rights activist, who intended to stage a public protest in Harare today over local women stranded in Kuwait and were blocked by the police, have vowed to continue with their action.

They say police dispersed them and asked top officials of various non-governmental organizations leading the peaceful march to report at a local police station.

Hundreds of Zimbabwean women, promised good jobs in Kuwait by alleged conmen, have allegedly have been turned into slaves and commercial sex workers in the Arabian nation.

Linda Masarira, founder and national co-ordinator of the Zimbabwe Women In Politics Alliance said her organization will be filing an urgent High Court application seeking to compel the government to assist in the repatriation of the stranded women.

Three women were briefly detained by the police but were later released without charge.

"We will not stop demonstrating until the women are repatriated back to Zimbabwe and reunited with their families. We believe the government is sleeping on the job and hope that it can join hands with Kuwait to bring back the girls," said Musarira.

Meanwhile, one of the women who were briefly detained Wednesday, Lynette Mudehwe said although they were not harassed or beaten by riot police they were verbally abused while in a police truck in which they were kept captive for several hours.

"This incident will not deter us we will continue raising our voices and making noise until something is done by the government and Kuwait to repatriate the women who are being held captive after being promised lucrative posts in the Arab state," said Mudehwe.

Mudehwe added that no amount of intimidation or harassment will deter them. She advised those seeking jobs in Arab states to exercise due diligence before taking up the posts.

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