Malawi Government has condemned the reported Chitipa slavery deal where a Tanzanian is suspected to have sold five Malawian boys to work on a farm in Tanzania.
Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa condemned the slavery deal after press reports indicated Thomas Ndimbwa, 30, of Izuba Village in Ileje District, Tanzania is alleged to have sold five boys at K20 000 (US$48) each, according to press reports.
He was arrested and has been referred to Tanzania for prosecution.
Nankhumwa said the slavery deal is “unacceptable” calling for toughening of laws on human trafficking to ensure that culprits are brought to book in Malawi.
He said the laws should also consider the trauma that victims suffer in such deals.
Other reports from northern border districts of Karonga and Chitipa indicates that there is a slave ring in which girls from poor families – some as young as 12 – are being forced into slavery for survival.
Some parents give away their daughters as a way of paying off loans and other debts they had incurred. Better-off people in these remote areas took advantage of the situation to sexually abuse the girls.
But for locals in the area, the practice – known as kupimbira – is an age-old tradition. It is popular among the Nyakyusa and Ngonde who live along the shores of Lake Malawi and along the Tanzanian boarder. It is also prevalent in Misuku Hills.
Human trafficking law expert Habiba Osman has since called for a comprehensive human trafficking law that will protect people and bring traffickers to book.
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