Thursday, 18 August 2016


KUWAIT embassy chief secretary Brenda Avril May yesterday claimed victims of the Kuwait human trafficking saga had approached her for assistance to return to the tiny Arab nation. May (62) is facing charges of contravening the Human Trafficking Act. Her trial began yesterday.

 In her defence, May said she was surprised that some victims had shown interest in returning to Kuwait to work as housemaids.May denied the human trafficking allegations saying she conducted herself professionally and in line with her duties.
“All the time I was acting in my professional capacity within the confines of my duties,” she said.

“I had no reason to suspect that anyone could or was being recruited for purposes of trafficking. I also had no reasons to suspect the conditions under which the complainants would work because I was merely performing my secretarial duties as an employee of the Kuwait embassy.

“I am surprised by the attitude of some of the complainants as they came back to the Kuwait embassy with a view of getting their jobs back and return to the same country.”
Prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri will lead her witnesses in camera.
Allegations are that May connived with her accomplices in Kuwait to recruit desperate employment seekers.

Three women, among them Edith Chapo, Stella Juliet Jakarasi, Cynthia Dube and Joselyn Mudenge, approached May on learnuing about job opportunities in Kuwait.
Chapo and Jakarasi were offered jobs as nurse aides and Dube as a housemaid.

May allegedly processed the papers for the women and told them to seek police clearance and undergo a medical examination, which they did.

The women left for Kuwait in August and September 2015 rspectively. On reaching Kuwait, they were taken by unknown agents who confiscated their passports.
They were then driven to different places where they met their employers.

They were told they were going to work as housemaids. The court heard the complainants were made to work for 22 hours a day without rest and were often locked up in the house all the time.

The women later managed to communicate with relatives back home who reported the case to police. It is alleged they begged to be brought back home, but their employers refused.
With the assistance of the Zimbabwe embassy in Kuwait, the women returned home in November last year.


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