HARARE— The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-N) formation of Welshman Ncube says it is shameful that the government has failed to assist in the repatriation of 32 Zimbabwean women stranded in Kuwait, who were promised lucrative jobs but found themselves performing menial jobs.
In a statement, the MDC-N said it is ironic that President Robert Mugabe recently travelled to New York to sign a climate change agreement, blowing thousands of dollars in the process, and yet his government cannot rescue the women and girls.
Another opposition party the People’s Democratic Party led by Tendai Biti also issued a statement castigating Mr. Mugabe for failing to bail out the women and girls in Kuwait.
The statement read in part: “The revelations by the government of Zimbabwe that it does not have money to repatriate about 200 Zimbabwean women who are stranded in the Middle East oil rich state of Kuwait once again confirms, what we in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have consistently said, that Zimbabwe is better off without a government than the ZANU PF curse it is enduring.
“In making this case it is important to flag out that section 35 (3a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe is very clear that all Zimbabwean citizens are entitled ‘to the protection of the State wherever they maybe. In light of this provision, the moribund ZANU PF regime is, therefore, clearly in breach of the Constitution by failing to extend protection for its citizens who have been turned into sex slaves in Kuwait.”
The 32 are part of a group of about 200 Zimbabweans that were lured to Kuwait in the Middle East by some employment agencies after they were promised top jobs only to be turned into commercial sex workers and some low-paying jobs.
A parliamentary delegation led by speaker Jacob Mudenda is currently in Kuwait where attempts are being made to bring some of the women back home.
Controversial Zimbabwean businessman Wicknell Chivayo has reportedly bought some tickets for the women’s flights to Zimbabwe.
Speaking on LiveTalk’s Women RoundTable, one of the delegates who reached out to Chivayo from Kuwait, chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on foreign affairs, Kindness Paradza, said the tickets were already in their hands and they were making plans to repatriate the women and girls when their delegation leaves early Saturday morning.
“We are bringing the girls home and we will be meeting with the girls here in Kuwait on Friday to finalise their departure but we want to thank the Speaker Mr. Jacob Mudenda for spearheading the repatriation with the assistance of the Zimbabwe Embassy in Kuwait and Mr. Chivayo who bought the tickets for the girls,” said Paradza.
Paradza said a delegation of ministers, medical staff and counselling staff would be at the airport to welcome the delegation and counsel the women and girls before reuniting them with their families.
He said some of them had been sexually abused as well as emotionally bruised.
“We have a huge welcome team prepared for our arrival. We are going to keep the identity of the women and girls secret to protect them and we will also be making sure they are reunited with their families safely after their arrival,” added Paradza.
He also announced that Chivayo would avail tickets for the remaining women and girls in Kuwait being held against their will until all of them are back home.
Women’s organisation and rights groups have been working tirelessly to bring the women and girls back home.
African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Early Child Marriages, Mrs. Nyaradzai Gumbondzvanda, welcomed the latest development in Kuwait .
She urged the African Union and Southern African Development Community to take action on human trafficking and for governments to ensure that conditions in member countries are conducive and are ripe with opportunities to deter young girls from being lured to unsafe countries on promises of greener pastures.
“We need a strong Pan-African intervention around the issue of human trafficking. We cannot achieve Agenda 2063 if the young women and women of Africa are experiencing all these modern forms of slavery from child marriage, human trafficking all the kind of abuses we are seeing so we need as a continent to really step our efforts for opportunities for young women and girls so that when people chose to leave their countries they are going as a matter of choice and also with the full information and the legal protection around them,” said Mrs. Gumbodzvanda. – VOA