Govt Moves To Ban Kuwait Visas

Govt Moves To Ban Kuwait Visas
Published: 2016 May 18 05:39:36 (1618 Views)
Government has written to the government of Kuwait seeking an immediate ban on the issuance of Article 20 visas to Zimbabweans to prevent more people from being trafficked to the Middle East country.

Under Kuwaiti immigration laws, an Article 20 visa restricts one to being a domestic worker.

Government also wants the Kuwait government to arrange compensation for the period Zimbabwean human trafficking victims were forced to work without pay.

This comes amid reports that Cabinet has directed that a special fund be established to cater for Zimbabwean victims of human trafficking in various countries.

This is contrary to reports that Government was not doing anything to repatriate the victims.

In his letter to Kuwait Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah dated May 10, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the requests were meant to avoid a recurrence of a situation where more than 200 local women were held hostage in that country.

Mumbengegwi said Government was also seeking cooperation in “identifying and locating all Zimbabweans issued with Article 20 visas, granting access to Zimbabwean diplomats accredited to Kuwait to these nationals with the view to having them repatriated”.

He wrote: “Your cooperation is needed in permitting the diplomats to collect personal possessions left in the custody of their former masters as the ladies fled from the unbearable conditions they were subjected to. We also seek that you facilitate the immediate repatriation of those currently held at the Zimbabwean embassy or in shelters.

“We seek your cooperation in the arrest and deportation from Kuwait into our custody, Zimbabwean criminals who have been identified as being part of the criminal syndicate operating in the trafficking in persons in the State of Kuwait.”

The criminals include Ms Lorraine Nhapata (+956 947863319), Ms Margaret Tinashe Nyamande (+965 66127163) and Ms Chipo Kolomola (contact not given).

Mumbengegwi said goings on in Kuwait violated international labour laws and the Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, principally the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking of persons, especially women and children.

He said the abuse on the women had left them “traumatised and scarred for life.”

- Herald
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