According to recent reports from a Zimbabwean parliamentary committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, around 200 Zimbabwean women are on death row in China. This was revealed at the country’s National Assembly by member Cde Beata Nyamupinga who informed that there were more than 1,000 Zimbabweans in Chinese prisons, most of them women. Nyamupinga, also a chairperson of the committee on Women Affairs, claims that these women were trafficked to China and are held under drug trafficking charges.

 

China deals out harsh sentences to those involved with drug smuggling, even if they may be innocent. According to Nyamupinga, most of the Zimbabwean women on death row in China are innocent victims of their husbands. Apparently, the women were sent on shopping trips by their Nigerian boyfriends and fiancés who hid hard drugs in their suitcases without their knowledge. Nigerian men have long been accused of marrying Zimbabwean women to achieve illegal goals.  

 

Nyamupinga disclosed these statistics while introducing a motion to address human trafficking in the parliament. This expectedly raised fears among the public, however the numbers have been disputed. Zimbabwean Secretary for Foreign Affairs Joey Bimha countered stating that only three women are on death row in China based on figures sent from the country’s embassy in China. It is unclear how Zimbabwe’s government will deal with the issue however more information regarding the veracity remains to be revealed.

 

Is enough been done to address the issue of human trafficking in African countries? Let us know your thoughts in a comment below or on Twitter @rafeeeeta