Journalists were yesterday asked to leave the court room in which a suspected Kuwait human trafficking kingpin, James Maroodza, was being tried in order to protect the identity of victims.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Maroodza, who appeared before magistrate Bianca Makwande, is facing 35 counts of human trafficking, but is initially being tried on six.
Six witnesses have been lined up and only one managed to complete her testimony. Maroodza’s accomplice, Norest Maruma, has since been sentenced to 50 years imprisonment after he was convicted of five counts of human trafficking.
Maroodza was put on International Red Notice by the Interpol after defaulting his bail conditions after his initial remand.
The trial continues on November 5.
Allegations are that sometime in 2016, between March and May, Maroodza, who operates Employment Engine Global Services, recruited several Zimbabwean ladies to go and work in Kuwait as house maids.
It is alleged Maroodza misrepresented that they would receive lucrative salaries, only for them to discover that they were being sold for labour exploitation and servitude to their employers.
The complainants managed to sneak away from their employers and sought help at the Zimbabwe Embassy in Kuwait, which facilitated their repatriation.
Netsai Mushayabasa appeared for the State.
Meanwhile, activist Paddington Japajapa, who is facing charges of insulting Zambian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zelipa Chitambo, after he failed get a licence to import maize, was put on his defence during trial yesterday.
Japajapa (50), who is appearing before magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini, pleaded not guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct.
In his defence, Japajapa told court that he was actually the victim after the embassy security staff assaulted him in front of Chitambo.
He told the court that he reported the assault to the police and a docket was opened, but he faced resistance in bringing the records to court.
However, Japajapa asked the court to allow him to bring some of the records from the police to court.
Vhitorini postponed the matter to November 5 for trial continuation.
Patience Chimusaru appeared for the State.