â€¦parents under probe as search for 6 more continues
By NANCY SIAME
FIVE of the 11 girls of Nakonde who were allegedly trafficked to Tanzania and sold to businessmen in that country by their
parents have been re-united with their families, Ministry of Home Affairs Ngosa Simbyakula has said.
Dr Simbyakula said in Lusaka yesterday that Zambian security wings retrieved the girls from Tanzania a week ago and they are all in good health.
The minister said the parents of the girls were interrogated on why they sold off their daughters to Tanzanian businessmen and they simply responded that their children had gone to visit their relatives.
â€œI am not satisfied with the response of the parents and I have demanded a full report from the Immigration and the police and they have promised to give me one tomorrow [today],â€ Dr Simbyakula said.
He said the other six girls are yet to be located and Government will do everything possible to ensure their safe return home.
â€œWe are working with all the relevant authorities locally and in Tanzania to ensure that the girls return home safely,â€ he said.
Last month, the Zambia Daily Mail exposed a child-trafficking syndicate in which Tanzanian businessmen allegedly bought 11 girls aged between 11 and 17 at K36,000 each from some parents in Nakonde.
Nakonde district commissioner James Singoyi said it is suspected that the children are being engaged in illegal sexual activities although they were being taken to Tanzania under the pretext that they would work as housemaids.
International Organisation for Migration chief of mission Andrew Choga said in Lusaka recently that the United Nations agency has engaged the parents in talks, and efforts to locate the girls in Tanzania and bring them back home have reached an advanced stage.