VP Mnangagwa launches human anti-trafficking action plan
Lloyd Gumbo Harare Bureau
The Government has launched the National Plan of Action on Human Trafficking (NAPLAC) as it consolidates its fight against the scourge following reports that hundreds of Zimbabweans were being trafficked.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the plan that is anchored on four pillars — prosecution, prevention, protection and partnership — and runs from 2016 to 2018.
The launch of the plan, which is in line with provisions of the Trafficking in Persons Act, coincided with the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons commemorations which were held yesterday instead of today, July 30.
In a speech read on his behalf by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, VP Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was alive to the threats of human trafficking, hence enactment of legislation that seeks to curb the scourge.
He said the country enacted the Trafficking in Persons Act and acceded to a protocol to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons, especially women and children who were the most affected.
This comes against the backdrop of revelations that hundreds of Zimbabwean women were trafficked to Kuwait.
“In line with the Trafficking in Persons Act, the Government of Zimbabwe has been preoccupied with this situation and has facilitated the repatriation of the victims of trafficking,” said VP Mnangagwa.
“To date, a significant number of victims have been assisted to return to Zimbabwe.
“We have reports that more still need to be assisted to return and the Government is working on different modalities to facilitate the safe return of our citizens.
“I therefore want to take this opportunity to underscore the need for stakeholder coordination in accordance with the national legislative and institutional framework in place.”
Vice President Mnangagwa hailed cooperating partners who helped in the development of the NAPLAC and the anti-trafficking inter-ministerial committee for raising awareness against the vice.
“Let me reaffirm Government’s commitment to support, coordinate and successfully implement the National Plan of Action.
“On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I wish to extend my gratitude to our cooperating partners in the drafting of the National Plan of Action, who comprise the International Organisation for Migration, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Sadc secretariat,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said commemorations of the World Day against Human Trafficking was important in the sense that authorities raised awareness on the plight of victims of human trafficking as well as promotion and protection of their rights as resolved by member states.
In his remarks, Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said the NAPLAC hinged on prosecution, prevention, protection and partnership.
“We hope it will be effectively implemented and that the information on human trafficking cascades to grassroots levels, thereby protecting all our citizens especially women and children even in the remotest parts of our country,” said Minister Chombo.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said Zimbabwe had witnessed an increase in human trafficking as perpetrators took advantage of socio-economic challenges to lure unsuspecting victims.
“My ministry will continue to engage the relevant players to find a long lasting solution to this cancer, which has ravaged our society,” she said.
“To the beloved women who left the country in search of greener pastures, allow me to declare that you are survivors.
“The Government will support you to see yourselves again, not as objects, but persons deserving respect and whose value is inherent.”