Govt to repatriate 18 Zimbabweans from Romania

Staff Reporter

Government plans to repatriate about 18 Zimbabweans who are holed up in Romania after falling victims to human traffickers.

Addressing the media today in the capital, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Mr Aaron Nhepera, said Government was concerned about inhumane treatment Zimbabweans in Romania were being subjected to and plans were already in place to repatriate them back home.

“Government is concerned about that development and as a committee we were deliberating on ways we can use to extricate our citizens from that situation which is certainly deplorable and unacceptable. Plans have been put in place to repatriate our citizens from that country,” said Mr Nhepera.

Nhepera added that about a hundred people are estimated to be holed up in Romania after falling victims to human traffickers.

“So far our prosecution pillar which involves the police and the courts are handling 18 cases, but we do know that there could be as many as 30 people, some of them haven’t reported yet. But by way of estimation, we think that we could be having as many as hundred people in Romania,” said Mr Nhepera.

Permanent Secretary Nhepera added that the threat of human trafficking has become pervasive and urged Zimbabweans to be aware of this threat.

“I would want also to advise our citizens to be aware of this threat which is quite pervasive throughout the whole country. It’s not just trafficking persons where people are trafficked outside the country but trafficking persons is even happening locally where people are being removed from their place to other new places for purposes of exploitation, be it in terms of labour or sexually,” said Mr Nhepera.

The Permanent Secretary further said that there was also a worrying situation where some trafficking victims were rescued from Kuwait by the Government only to fall victim again in Romania.

Last year, Government rescued a number of Zimbabweans from Kuwait after they had sent an SOS following inhumane treatment they received in that country.