A 30-year-old Apex University graduate who trafficked his friend to work as a maid in Turkey but was subjected to inhuman treatment has been convicted.
Lusaka magistrate Felix Kaoma convicted Paul Zambara of Ng’ombe Township of prohibition of trafficking in persons.
Zambara trafficked Alice Lubinda, 23, to Turkey for the worst form of labour between July 1, 2019 and August 31, 2019.
Magistrate Kaoma said Zambara, who arranged her friend’s trip to work as a maid in Turkey, betrayed her trust.
When Lubinda arrived at her employers house in Turkey, her passport and mobile phone was confiscated and the employer used to lock her up inside the house.
Lubinda told the court that she was subjected to do slavery like work prompting
her when it got worse to report to the Zambian Embassy in Turkey where
she was assisted to come back to Zambia.
Since her employer had confiscated her passport, she used travelling documents to come to Zambia at the assistance of the Embassy and International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Magistrate Kaoma said in a judgment that the prosecution proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt as there was overwhelming evidence that Zambara trafficked Lubinda and was a recruiter in Zambia while there was a transporter and a receiver in Turkey.
Magistrate Kaoma said Lubinda left her business of selling samoosas to go to Turkey for greener pastures when Zambara knew the kind of life his friend was going to be subjected to.
He observed that there are agents in Zambia who recruit people for human trafficking and that the accused was the one who found Lubinda a job of house maid and arranged her travel documents.
Magistrate Kaoma said he established that the fact that Lubinda’s passport and phones were confiscated and that her employer used to lock her in the house when she was out and subjected her to hard work and cut her from communicating with her family, she was treated like a slave.
However, Zambara during investigations and trial did not disclose the name of the person who sent him to recruit Lubinda.
He only admitted during his defence that he was the one who was in charge of organising all documents for Lubinda such as passport and visa for the travel to Turkey.
Zambara lied that he had been touch with Lubinda whilst she was in Turkey and she had been telling him that she was working well and enjoying herself when in fact not. The offence which Zambara has been convicted of carries a minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum of 30 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Magistrate Kaoma has no jurisdiction to sentence Zambara and referred him to the High Court for sentencing on a date to be advised.