Saturday 9 March 2024


A WOMAN who deceived nine unsuspecting job seekers into believing that she could facilitate good paying jobs for them in Dubai before taking them to Oman where they were virtually enslaved, has been convicted of human trafficking.

Caroline Ziyanga (42) is now awaiting sentencing after she was convicted on nine counts of trafficking persons after a full trial before Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje.

Prosecutor Mr Oscar Madhume told the court that Ziyanga was a first offender who was working in cahoots with one Hamidah, the key player in the commission of the offence.

Mr Madhume said there was need for the State to have a special circumstances inquiry to check if the court could impose the minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years .

Mr Madhume proved that sometime in January 2022, Ziyanga acted in connivance with Hamidah to traffic women to Oman for the purposes of enslavement and sexual exploitation.

She advertised non-existent lucrative jobs in Dubai through friends, relatives, associates and neighbours.

The complainants were referred to her as she was known to be assisting people to get employment in Dubai where she claimed they would get paid a salary of US$800 per month.

She also told the complainants about good working conditions which included free accommodation, time off and adequate food.

Acting on that misrepresentation, the complainants accepted the offer as the deal looked lucrative.

Ziyanga and her accomplice, Hamidah, processed visas and air tickets for destination Oman instead of Dubai.

The complainants were then sold to the purported employers before they departed Zimbabwe.

The complainants realised that they had been deceived on arrival in Oman where their passports were confiscated.

They were then forced to start working as housemaids instead of nurse aides and were subjected to inhumane treatment.

The court heard that the complainants would sleep way after midnight, were not given enough food and were deprived of freedom of movement.

They were not given enough time to rest and some were sexually abused. Efforts to communicate with Ziyanga and Hamidah were fruitless.

Eventually one of the complainants was able to get access to a phone and called her brother based in South Africa who alerted the authorities in Zimbabwe leading to Ziyanga’s arrest.

Government intervened by sending an Anti Trafficking Ministerial Committee which facilitated their repatriation back to Zimbabwe. Herald


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