SHOCKINGLY, a vast majority of the population seem not to know that human trafficking is a crime and so many engage themselves in the vice.
It is not uncommon for people to ferry a “relative” from the rural areas to work in either a domestic or commercial set up to work for little or no pay.
Most people, erroneously believe that it is reward enough that the person has a roof over their head.
A recent court case has highlighted just how bad the attitude towards himan trafficking has become.
An Apex University graduate has been convicted for human trafficking and faces a minimum sentence of 20 years imprisonment for trafficking a school leaver to Turkey to engage in the worst kind of labour.
Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma recently found 30-year-old Paul Zambara guilty of one count of trafficking Alice Lubinda, 25, to Turkey where she was subjected to degrading inhuman treatment as she worked as a housemaid for several hours without resting.
Beyond such treatment being a violation of labour laws it also borders on human rights abuse and hence the severity of the case.
Mr. Kaoma has referred Zambara to the High Court for sentencing because the minimum sentence is beyond his jurisdiction. The maximum sentence for human trafficking attracts 30 years imprisonment.
Zambara was initially jointly charged with Loveness Chitambara but the charge against her was dropped after which she was turned into a State witness.
Particulars of offence were that between July 1, 2019 and August 31, 2019 in Lusaka, Zambara jointly and whilst acting together with unknown persons intentionally and unlawfully trafficked Ms. Lubinda, who was aged 23 then.
Zambara denied the charge and told the court that it was by accident that he facilitated the victim’s travel and that he did not know that she was going to be subjected to such treatment.
During investigations and trial, he failed to reveal the person who sent him to recruit Ms. Lubinda but admitted in his defence that he was in charge of organising all travel documents like passport and visa.
Ms. Lubinda told the court that Zambara, who was her friend she had known for some time, connected her to go to Turkey to work as a maid. .
She said among conditions she was promised was a salary and that she would continue communicating with her parents while working in Turkey.
But upon her arrival in Turkey, her employer confiscated her passport, mobile phone; and barred her from communicating with her family.
Ms. Lubinda also said her employer used to lock her in the house every time she left to restrain her from coming out.
These type of slave conditiins are seen everywhere and there is a serious need for change of attitude.
Human trafficking must be stopped and it is hoped that the court conviction will serve as a deterrent.
Human trafficking whip
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