Several other women have since returned home after a Parliamentary delegation that went to Kuwait a fortnight ago after a bilateral engagement secured the release of 32 other women who came back home at the weekend.
MPs now want President Mugabe to ban visas for domestic workers in Kuwait.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cde Kindness Paradza, who was part of the delegation to Kuwait headed by National Assembly Speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda, said he was going to present a report in Parliament on human trafficking to Kuwait.
“As I speak, I have just been informed by our Ambassador to Kuwait Cde Mark Marongwe that 16 more girls have escaped from their abusive employers and are now camped at the embassy seeking assistance to be brought home,” said Cde Paradza.
“I was also told that the figure of those run-away girls is swelling and is expected to rise by the weekend.
“Our wish as Parliament is to have a complete ban on all visa applications to Kuwait under Section 20, which commits into slavery anyone who enters that country under that section.
“Other African countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana have since banned their citizens from traveling to Kuwait under that section.”
Cde Paradza said there was a possibility that the total number of Zimbabwean women who were lured to Kuwait under the same circumstances could be around 500 amid indications that some of them left via Kenya, South Africa and Botswana.
He appealed to Government, women organisations and human rights activists to embark on awareness campaigns to conscientise Zimbabwean women about the problems in Kuwait.
“As Parliament, we also want our security agencies to hunt down all those locals who are working in cahoots with Kuwaiti syndicates on this issue and bring them to book.
“Last week, the Philippines also managed to evacuate 143 of their girls from Kuwait who had fallen victims to similar acts of modern day slavery.
“Our worry as a committee is that Government has not availed funds to have our girls flown back home, which could end up being difficult to account for all the girls as some of them have been transported to other countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar on arrival in Kuwait,” said Cde Paradza.
Businessman, Mr Wicknell Chivayo had to intervene last week by paying air tickets for the 32 women. There were indications that Treasury was constrained to pay for their return.
But Cde Paradza implored Government to set up a special fund for repatriation of all Zimbabwean women stuck in Kuwait. herald
Sixteen more Zimbabwean women who were lured to Kuwait to work as housemaids, but ended up being abused as sex slaves, have escaped from captivity and are now under the care of the country’s Ambassador to Kuwait Mark Marongwe.“President Mugabe as the father of the nation must use his Presidential powers and direct the Minister of Foreign Affairs to effect the ban.