By Patrick Nyirenda The Radar
When she had just finished her tertiary education at the Polytechnic Continuing Education Center, Lilongwe Campus. She was desperate for a job, eventually got cheated but she didn’t saw it coming.
In this story, we will call her ‘Ndaziona’. Her friend abroad called for a lucrative job, she trusted her friend that wouldn’t lay a trap on her. So, Ndaziona started off to United Arab Emirates-UAE. There, her friend couldn’t get reached on her phone. Instead, she met new and strange faces. These, created hell on earth.
That’s how Ndaziona, a trafficking in person survivor, painfully recalls her story in UAE. In July 2021, she got lured by her friend; promising her a lucrative job outside. Ndaziona says she was sold to the strangers at K1 million. She didn’t a donkey work as a housemaid. No peace at all!
“After being sold, you are told to double refund back the money failing which, you are threatened to end up staying there all days of your life,” she explains.
Ndaziona narrated her ordeal in Mchinji on Monday during a sensitization meeting on trafficking in persons jointly organized by Salvation Army and Global Hope Mobilization with funding from USAID.
“But thanks to my family and other stalkholders for refunding money amounting to K3 million to have me back home. I used the social media platform to communicate with my family and well-wishers,” she says.
Ndaziona says she witnessed modern day slavery with her some of her friends literally losing lives in the process. “There is a great need for much effort in sensitizing Malawians on the dangers of trafficking in persons,” she stresses.
Knowledge gap on the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Act is coming out prominently as making most Malawians especially in typical rural areas more vulnerable to the vice.
Mchinji District Youth Network Chairperson, Ellard Eldon says most traffickers storm villages, taking advantage of people’s poverty and high illiteracy levels to trick them for decent jobs and improved living standards.
Mchinji District Counter Trafficking in Persons Chairperson, Haswel Jimu calls on the youth network to sensitize communities on the
2015 Trafficking in Persons Act which criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking, and prescribes punishments of up to 14 years’ imprisonment for offenses involving an adult victim and up to 21 years’ imprisonment for those involving a child victim.
Currently, 50 Malawian women remain trapped and stranded in Oman as local authorities seem having no clue to bailing them from the cruel jaws of their ‘traffickers’ who subject them to inhumane and exploitative working conditions.
Meanwhile, a local governance grouping, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives-CDEDI has launched a campaign to fundraise about $2, 500 for each woman. Government says it has only secured air tickets which CDEDI finds no sense at all in the absence of the ransom money.