Marondera Woman Smuggles Maids to Oman
19 October 2023
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Marondera Woman Appears in Court on Human Trafficking Charges to Oman.

A 31-year-old woman from Marondera, Karen Pamela Teguru, has appeared in court on charges of recruiting and trafficking individuals to prospective buyers in Oman, where they were allegedly forced to work as domestic workers. Teguru, who was accused of violating the Trafficking of People’s Act, made her first court appearance before Harare Magistrate Mrs. Marehwanazvo Gofa.

Teguru has been remanded in custody pending trial, as investigations into the alleged human trafficking operation continue.

According to the allegations presented in court, the unlawful activities unfolded over a period extending from January 2022 to August 2022. Teguru, in collaboration with a woman known as Hamidah, who is believed to be in Oman, and other accomplices who are still at large, is said to have hatched a sinister plan to traffic individuals, namely Portia Kalesi and Namatirai Muchacha, for the purpose of forced labor and domestic exploitation.

The prosecution asserted that to achieve their goals, the accused and her associates assigned various roles to each other. Teguru was responsible for identifying, recruiting, processing travel documents, arranging medical examinations for the victims, and escorting them to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, with the promised destination being Dubai, not Oman.

However, upon arrival at Muscat International Airport in Oman, the complainants allegedly realized they had been deceived and trafficked to Oman instead of the promised destination. Teguru’s associates had already provided funds for medical examinations, air tickets, visa processing, and identifying potential buyers for the victims long before they arrived in Oman.

The State alleges that upon landing in Oman, the complainants were received by Teguru’s accomplice, Hamidah, who reportedly sold them to prospective buyers. The victims were allegedly stripped of their travel documents and driven to various locations, where they were subjected to domestic servitude. They were forced to work around the clock, fed on leftovers, physically abused, and denied freedom of movement, often confined indoors.

The shocking case came to light when the victims managed to report their ordeal to their relatives back home. In response, the relatives contacted the authorities, leading to a police investigation. Subsequently, the victims fled from their abusers and sought assistance from a Zimbabwean delegation that was dispatched to Oman to repatriate them.

This distressing case underscores the urgent need for international cooperation and domestic efforts to combat human trafficking and protect the rights and dignity of vulnerable individuals. Investigations are ongoing, and authorities are working to bring all those involved in this heinous operation to justice.-state media