Cablegate: Harare Update On Interim Assessment for Special

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) SUMMARY: The GOZ and Interpol's Subregional Bureau
for Southern Africa jointly held a Regional Working Meeting
on Trafficking in Human Beings in Harare on November 29-30.
The Embassy sent observers to the meeting, at which officials
articulated GOZ interest in developing anti-TIP legislation,
public education, and law enforcement efforts. On December
2, poloffs met with Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and MFA
officials, who elaborated on Zimbabwe's TIP situation. END

2. (U) The regional working meeting was attended by
representatives from immigration and police of several
regional governments, international organizations, and one
local NGO dealing with child trafficking victims. GOZ sent
officials from the immigration department, attorney general's
office, and Zimbabwe Republic Police. We learned that GOZ is
making some progress on anti-TIP efforts, especially in
efforts to cooperate regionally and internationally.

3. (U) At the meeting, ZRP officials presented a list of
recommendations for the Government, including further
regional cooperation, bilateral law enforcement
investigations on cross-border trafficking, anti-TIP
legislation, and training for law enforcement. An official
from the attorney general's office also told us that the
office is planning an anti-TIP educational program for
prosecutors and judges to help address TIP-related issues in
prosecutions under existing law.

4. (U) GOZ officials reiterated Zimbabwe's intent to ratify
the Trafficking Protocol of the United National Transnational
Organized Crime convention. Officials also told us that the
GOZ is collaborating on a Southern African Development
Community (SADC) effort with the International Organization
of Migration and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
to develop a regional declaration on trafficking in persons
and to develop a plan of action. The plan of action would
focus first on assessment of the scope of the problem in the
region, which remains unclear, and then on developing
anti-TIP legislation.

5. (U) Interpol Inspector and program host Sam Fernandos, who
invited us to send observers, asked poloff to speak at the
meeting about the June 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report.
We gave a brief overview of the report, the tier system, and
the findings on Zimbabwe, and stressed that the USG sought to
cooperate with other governments on this shared interest.
Several meeting members asked for a copy of the report.

6. (U) On December 2, we attended a meeting with Stephen
Mutamba, the Commanding Officer of ZRP's Criminal
Investigative Division (CID), other CID officials, and
Georgina Kwesha from the Consular Department of MFA. Mutamba
said that TIP is a new area of regional cooperation. He said
the scope of the problem in Zimbabwe was not known but, to
the best of his knowledge, Zimbabwe was largely a transit
country and victims were usually undocumented foreigners who,
when discovered by law enforcement, were turned over to the
immigration department for deportation. Immigration
officials at the Interpol workshop noted that they had been
cooperating with regional counterparts to thwart illegal
trafficking of persons through Zimbabwe from East Africa to
south Africa. They emphasized that the GOZ knew little about
the dimensions of TIP problems within its borders but
conciousness of the potential problems was growing.

7. (U) Andrew Kadungure, another CID official, said that
information about trafficking was often anecdotal and
difficult to investigate. Kadungure offered as an example
the case of two Pakistani girls who were brought to Zimbabwe
where, together with two ethnic Indian Zimbabweans, they were
victimized by a pornography ring. CID efforts to investigate
foundered on a conspiracy of silence among the victims'
parents and the Asian community, who apparently were
concerned about stigmatization. The CID officials stressed
the need for greater intelligence about trafficking and asked
for any information we could provide that would help CID
investigate domestically or to cooperate transnationally.

8. (U) The CID officials said another TIP concern for
Zimbabwe related to false job offer scams in Europe and North
America. Victims travel from Zimbabwe to the destination
country where their passports are confiscated and they are
debt-bonded. Zimbabwean officials only learn of these cases
when the victims are assisted by citizens in the destination
countries and eventually return home. The day after our
meeting, December 3, the official Herald newspaper carried a
front page story on Zimbabwean women believed dead in Kenya
after a Kenyan man reportedly confessed that he lured the
women there, along with other nationals from the region, with
fraudulent promises of work for a Canadian hotel group. CID
officials emphasized the need for action by law enforcement
authorities in destination countries to thwart such criminal
enterprises. They welcomed information from the USG and
others that could offer the basis for actions against
malefactors in Zimbabwe.

9. (U) Both the CID officials and Kwesha responded
enthusiastically to the idea of a media awareness campaign.
Zimbabwean radio, TV, and print media already carry public
awareness spots on related topics, and the officials felt
that raising public awareness would lead to greater
information for law enforcement. Kwesha suggested that MFA
would publicize TIP concerns through Zimbabwe's embassies.
The officials asked for examples of public awareness
materials used in other countries.

awareness seems to be increasing. The CID and MFA officials
responded to the December 2 meeting enthusiastically, and
this meeting may serve as a basis for further cooperation
with law enforcement and MFA. Based on comments at the
November 29-30 Interpol workshop and the December 2 meeting,
GOZ's future efforts seem likely to be focused on regional
cooperation. We appreciate and urge Department's continued
provision of TIP-related materials to share with the GOZ. Any
TIP publicity materials would be especially useful as we
follow up with GOZ sources on a possible media campaign. END

© Scoop Media

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