Four trafficked girls back home
Nakonde, July 31, 2014,ZANIS…FOUR out of the eleven school going children from Tewele Primary School in Nakonde district who were reportedly trafficked into Tanzania by their parents have been retrieved and are back in school.
And a village headman in the area is on the run after he was discovered to be the alleged master mind behind the fraudulent business in which girls aged between 11 and 16 years had been trafficked in the last few months.
Both Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary Bwalya Ngándu and Nakonde District Commissioner James Singoyi have confirmed the development in separate interviews with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Chinsali today.
Dr. Ngándu said following reports of human trafficking in Tewele, he directed security wings in the border town to get to the bottom of the story and ensure that it was fully investigated.
Dr. Ngándu said a team of security officers led by the Zambia Police Service raided the village on the night of Tuesday.
He said that the 12 hour operation led to the bringing back of three girls aged 13 years who were sold in Tanzania and their parents were receiving 10,000 Tanzanian Shillings per month, an equivalent of about K35.
The three girls who are in Grade 5 said they were working as maids and received no payment apart from clothes and food they were eating at their places of work.
The girls have told ZANIS that they are happy to have been reunited with their families as they were taken outside the country against their wish.
The only boy who was among the trafficked children said he was working as a herd boy saying life was not easy there and was happy to have come back.
He said that he was only in Grade 2 when he was sold to the strangers.
And Dr. Ngándu has said that the remaining 7 children have not been retrieved because they have been taken very far to Mbeya, Morogoro, and Dar-es-salaam.
Dr. Ngándu said that efforts will be made to ensure that all the trafficked children are brought back.
The permanent secretary said he was also happy that the children who were allegedly trafficked have been taken back to school and further warned parents in the area who were in the habit of withdrawing their school- going children at a tender age that they risked being punished .
Nakonde DC Mr Singoyi said the combined security team in Nakonde will continue with the investigations as well as sensitizing the local people on the dangers of human trafficking.
Mr. Singoyi has also commended the security officers for moving in swiftly to investigate the matter and retrieve some of the children who were trafficked.
Ministry of Education and security officers in Nakonde have warned parents at Tewele Primary school to bring back their children who they have sold to people in Tanzania.
And Mr Singoyi also confirmed that four children have been brought back by their parents while others are believed to be as far as Dar-es-salaam.
Mr Singoyi said Government will continue to investigate and find out why children are being sold to Tanzania.
He said that most of the parents involved in the illegal deals are currently on the run and police are still looking for them.
Nakonde District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) yesterday told ZANIS that school – going children aged between 11 and 16 years from Tewele Primary school had been trafficked to the neighbouring Tanzania.