Govt officials lambast trafficking middlemen


VILLAGERS who use their homes in the vicinity of the country’s borders with other countries to facilitate human trafficking have no respect for human life and must face the full wrath of the law, a senior government official said yesterday.


Briefing journalists ahead of World Anti-Trafficking Day to be celebrated tomorrow in Beitbridge, a director in the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Service, Anywhere Mutambudzi, lambasted villagers who earned a few dollars for their services without considering the destination of the trafficking victims.

He said some of the victims ended up either being killed for human parts, as enslaved prostitutes or providers of cheap labour.

“For a few dollars, some people engage into this activity without considering the destination of the victim some who end up being killed for human body parts,” he said.

“Such devilish practices just for a few dollars, really? People have to be content and have respect for human life.”

Mutambudzi cited the case of Norest Maruma, who was jailed for 50 years, after she was convicted of trafficking young women who ended up as sex slaves in Kuwait.

Beitbridge, which is close to South Africa, is a popular destination for regional traffickers and used as a launch pad, where victims are kept before crossing illegally.

Some locals earn a middle income to rich living through facilitating traffickers and hosting victims.

Victims of Malawi origin camp at an area called Mfelandawonye, while several houses in Dulivadzimo high-density suburb are notorious for sheltering and trafficking with victims from as far afield as Somalia and Ethiopia.

Dirty roads in the basin of the Limpopo River become alive at night, as traffickers sneak their victims through more than a thousand illegal entry points into South Africa.

Mutambudzi is in Beitbridge ahead of the celebrations, where Vice-President Kembo Mohadi is expected to officiate.

Beitbridge district administrator Kilibone Ndou said the district was ready to host the event and hoped villagers and other residents of the district would learn from the event.

“Our subcommittees for the event are geared up and ready to go. We hope residents will learn from the awareness campaigns because for some it’s a way of life,” she said.