Zimbabwe asks Kuwait not to issue visas to its nationals

Around 200 women were reported to have been trafficked into domestic slavery earlier this year.

FILE: The Zimbabwean flag. Picture: WikiCommons.

HARARE - Zimbabwe has asked Kuwait not to issue visas to its nationals who want to work in the domestic service industry in the Gulf state.

Around 200 Zimbabwean women were reported to have been trafficked into domestic slavery earlier this year.

This is a bold move by the Zimbabwean government.

Zimbabwe's secretary for foreign affairs Joey Bimha said in a statement at the weekend that the government has asked Kuwait to no longer issue visas to Zimbabwean nationals, especially women, who want to work in the domestic service industry.

It also wants help in identifying all Zimbabweans issued with the so-called Article 20 visas in recent months.

Not all of them may have travelled to Kuwait, but Harare certainly wants all those being held against their will there to be brought home.

At least 80 women have returned since March, a wealthy local businessman Wicknell Chivayo is reported to have paid for some of the air fares.