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Woman jailed 90 years for human trafficking

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In a significant legal verdict, Harare regional magistrate Mr. Stanford Mambanje handed down a long prison sentence to Caroline Ziyanga (42), convicted of trafficking nine women to Oman. Originally facing a staggering 90 years on nine counts of human trafficking, Ziyanga’s sentence was reduced due to some counts running concurrently.

Prosecutor Mr. Oscar Madhume successfully argued that in January 2022, Ziyanga collaborated with an individual named Hamidah to traffic women to Oman under false pretenses of employment opportunities in Dubai. Ziyanga deceitfully advertised non-existent high-paying jobs, enticing victims with promises of lucrative salaries and favorable working conditions.

Victims, referred to Ziyanga for job assistance, were instructed to provide personal documents for visa processing. Once manipulated into believing they had secured jobs as nurse aides in Dubai, the women were instead sent to Oman, their passports confiscated upon arrival.

Exposed to appalling conditions, including overwork, insufficient food, and even sexual abuse, the victims realized the deception during transit. One victim managed to alert authorities after contacting her brother in South Africa, leading to Ziyanga’s arrest.

Government intervention facilitated the repatriation of the victims, who endured exploitation and abuse in Oman. The Anti-Trafficking Ministerial Committee oversaw their return, highlighting the urgent need for combating human trafficking and supporting victims of exploitation.

Initially, she was facing eleven counts but two were withdrawn before plea.

Magistrate Mambanje, however, stated that counts three, four and five, six, seven and eight as well as nine, ten and eleven will run concurrently hence 30 years are effective

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