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EX-ZRP officer jailed for human trafficking

By Staff Writer

A former police officer Forward Mashonganyika and his niece, Tendai Muswe have been caged for 20 years each following their conviction for trafficking three Zimbabwean women to Oman on the pretext of employment.

The victims were instead sold into sex slavery where they also endured all forms of abuse before they were rescued.

Muswe was already serving three years for a related offence.

Mashonganyika and Muswe were jailed after a full trial by Harare regional magistrate Estere Chivasa.

For sentencing, the first two counts were treated as one hence each charge was 10 years effective.

Appearing for the National Prosecuting Authority  (NPA) Ngoni Kaseke proved that in February 2022, Mashonganyika connived with Muswe and Hassan Mohammed Ali based in Oman, to traffic unsuspecting victims to that country for labour and sexual abuse.

Mashonganyika and his accomplices created a WhatsApp group where they advertised non-existent lucrative jobs in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The court heard he recruited three victims after promising them high-paying hotel jobs coupled with good working conditions in Dubai.

“Mashonganyika processed visas, air tickets as well as medical examination reports and facilitated transportation of the victims from Zimbabwe to Oman, instead of Dubai as had earlier been promised,” the court heard.

The victims only realised that they had been duped upon arrival at Muscat International Airport in Oman where they were received by Hassan Mohammed Ali Al Shihhi, who confiscated their passports and drove them to a certain location.

“The victims were sold out to work as housemaids and were subjected to domestic servitude, working around the clock with no pay.

“They were made to feed on leftovers and were sexually and physically abused,” said NPA.

The matter came to light when the victims reported their ordeal through Interpol and relatives back home, who in turn reported the matter to the police for investigations, leading to the arrest of Mashonganyika.

When they arrested Mashonganyika, the police searched his house and discovered payments sent from his accomplice, Hassan Ali Al Shihhi in Oman through MoneyGram.

The victims were located and repatriated back to Zimbabwe.

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