Man caged 10 years for human trafficking

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A HARARE man has been jailed for an effective 10 years for trafficking six women to Kuwait on the pretext of securing them well-paying domestic jobs but instead subjected them to slavery and exploitation.

James Marodza was lucky not to have been charged with a section which carries a mandatory 10-year sentence on each count.

Regional magistrate Bianca Makwande said only a custodial sentence would be adequate for the offence as it was becoming rife in southern Africa and the courts ought to play a role in curtailing the scourge.

The magistrate said Marodza’s actions subjected the women to psychological torture that some of them would not lead normal lives again as they were treated as slaves in a foreign land with no help or communication with relatives.

The court said Marodza’s actions prejudiced the government as it had to intervene in repatriating the victims whose rights he had infringed.

State counsel Netsai Mushayabasa proved that sometime in 2016, the complainants saw a newspaper advertisement which said housemaids were wanted in Kuwait.

Contact details were provided and the complainants called in and were invited to Marodza’s office in Vainona.
Marodza told the complainants that working conditions would be favourable and one of the women was told that she would have an opportunity to further her education.

Marodza told the complainants to leave their details for visa processing and instructed them to be medically examined for HIV and for them to acquire police clearance certificates.

The complainants went to Kuwait where they were taken to an agent who handed them over to the said employers. The employers confiscated their passports.

The court heard that the complainants were in some instances denied a bath, fresh food and communication with relatives as their phones were seized.

One of the women managed to escape and sought refuge at the Zimbabwean embassy in Kuwait and had to be repatriated home with the help of the government.

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