Three suspects believed to be part of a human trafficking syndicate that lured desperate job seekers to Kuwait where they were badly treated and forced into prostitution have appeared in court.
Edison Mudonhi (45), Gilson Mugumo (41) and Helen Tambanewako (37) were charged with contravening sections of the Trafficking in Persons Act when they appeared in court last week.
Allegations are that on February 19, 2016, Tambanewako, who is Mudonhi’s wife, approached a woman at her house in Chitungwiza and inquired if she was interested in working in Dubai.
The court heard that Tambanewako advised the woman that she would be working as a waitress earning $750 a month.
It is alleged that the woman agreed and was advised to visit Mudonhi’s house with her HIV test results which she did the following day.
It is the State’s case that Mudonhi took the woman to Mugumo’s house where Mugumo told her that he was processing her travel documents for Dubai on February 25 2016.
Mugumo advised the woman to pay him $25 for fuel and parking expenses at the airport.The court heard that on February 24, Mudonhi gave the woman her visa to go to Kuwait instead of Dubai after telling her that Dubai was no longer recruiting waitresses.
It is alleged that on February 25, the woman boarded a plane at the Harare International Airport and arrived in Kuwait the following day.
Upon arrival, the woman was detained at the airport by immigration officials for seven hours, while waiting for employment agent identified as Norest, a Zimbabwean, who came accompanied by a Ghanaian known as Ibrahim.
They handed the woman to her employer who held her passport and ordered her to remove her clothes and wear Moslem garb.
The court heard that during her period of employment, the complainant survived on left overs, was forced to sleep in the passage and was not allowed to communicate with anyone outside the house.
It is the State’s case that she escaped and went to the Zimbabwe embassy where she reported the abuse.
She was repatriated back to Zimbabwe on April 30.
She reported the matter to the police.