Harare man nabbed for selling Zimbabwean maids to Kuwait
One of the trafficked woman to Kuwait was sold for $10 000 by a 38-year-old Harare man. The jobless woman was further sold to an elderly woman in the Middle East country. She was only allowed to bath once a week and eat leftovers.
Morris Chivandire of Glen Norah A appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe facing charges of contravening the Trafficking in Persons Act. Chivandire was granted $500 bail.
Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that in January this year the complainant received information that Chivandire was recruiting women to go and work as housemaids in Kuwait.
The complainant was jobless and she became interested. On February 1, she contacted Chivandire who invited her to his office on the 5th floor of Robin House in Harare.
The complainant met Chivandire and was advised to obtain a police clearance certificate, medical examination report and HIV tests. She was told that if she was HIV positive she would not qualify for the job.
After completing the tests and documentation the complainant handed the papers to Chivandire on February 8. It is alleged she was ordered to submit two full photographs of herself dressed in long black dresses and head scarfs, enveloping the body and head in a Muslim burka.
The court heard that on March 3 at around 10am Chivandire sent the complainant through social network platform, WhatsApp, her visa and work contract as a professional housekeeper.
Two days later the complainant was advised that her ticket was ready and she was to leave the following day. On March 6, she boarded a plane to Kuwait and was advised that a woman called Sarah was waiting for her at Kuwait Airport. She arrived in Kuwait the following day and met Fatima, a driver of the Kuwait agent who made her sign a three-year contract, the court heard.
It is alleged the complainant was advised that she would be paid 70 KD (Kuwait Dinaries) per month. Fatima told the complainant that she bought her from Chivandire for $10 000, so she owned her. The complainant was taken to her employer where she worked from 4am to 1am the following day without rest. The courts heard that she was only allowed to bath once a week and eat leftovers.
She was assaulted by her employer for no reason, the court heard. She was later transferred to Saudi Arabia where working conditions worsened and she fell ill. The complainant was returned to the agent in Kuwait on May 10 where she was kept under lock and key.
It is alleged that she managed to escape to the Zimbabwean Embassy where she was assisted to return to Zimbabwe.