Parliamentarian Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga says the 32 women and girls who were repatriated back to Harare on Saturday have now been assisted to return to their families following a brief stay at a shelter where they were offered medical and psychological counselling.
“We handed over the women and girls through the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda to the Labour Minister Prisca Mupfumira who took them to a safe place at a shelter. I visited the shelter with Musasa Project staff yesterday (Sunday) by nightfall most of them had gone back to their homes,” said Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga.
She said the Musasa Project staff will be following up with one-on-one counselling with the women and girls Tuesday, to ensure that the re-integration process is smooth.
“Some of the women were married and now have to face their husbands who may base their reception on some unfavourable press reports and some left their jobs as teachers and nurses hoping to get greener pastures abroad but now have to find a way to face their communities and families,” said Misihairambwi-Mushonga.
“Reintegration is dependent on individuals. It’s not a one fits all scenario because each person has a different need and different support system some of them need counselling, some of them incurred debts before they left, some of them had businesses that they were doing, some of them were teachers and nurses so we have to find organisations that can assist with some of these challenges. Musasa Project were busy profiling each person so that they can do follow-ups tomorrow (Tuesday),” she added.
Misihairambwi-Mushonga said she will be tabling the issue in parliament on the next sitting to ensure that government takes full responsibility of trafficked citizens in future.
“I feel so angry with government and I am holding fire until I raise some of these issues in parliament. I think there are many things that government could have done, one to make sure that these women and girls don’t go and then helping them once they discovered there was a problem. That somebody an individual had to step in and assist is an indictment on government ... Trust me there is going to be a lot of frank and brutal conversations in the House.”
Welfare Minister Priscah Mupfumira told Studio7 she will be releasing a report Tuesday which will detail government findings and recommendations.
The 32 women are part of 200 that are believed to have been trafficked to Kuwait under the guise of lucrative employment opportunities that turned into nightmares.
Some 40 women have also been repatriated under their own efforts and through well-wishers but there remains a sizeable number that is still being allegedly held under duress.
Some of the women were allegedly sexually abused with most of them also being forced to perform menial jobs leading to broken dreams and promises.
Misihairambwi-Mushonga urged those that need information on the whereabouts of their relatives still in Kuwait to send a WhatsApp message to Zimbabwe Embassy staff in the country at +96 56 596 5310.