Former Police Officer Forward Mashonganyika Handed 20-Year Sentence for Human Trafficking Scheme

March 11, 2024
Suspended police officer and neice jailed for human trafficking | Report Focus News
Suspended police officer and neice jailed for human trafficking

In a notable legal development, former police officer Forward Mashonganyika and his niece Tendai Muswe have each received a 20-year sentence for their involvement in a human trafficking case. The charges are related to their actions in trafficking three women to Oman, where the victims faced sexual exploitation.

The verdict was delivered after a full trial before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Estere Chivasa, who treated the first two counts as one for sentencing purposes. Consequently, both Mashonganyika and Muswe were handed a pair of effective 10-year terms each.

Muswe, separately, is already serving a three-year prison sentence for a similar offense. The State prosecutor, Mr. Ngoni Kaseke, successfully argued that in February 2022, Mashonganyika conspired with Muswe and Hassan Mohammed Ali in Oman to traffic unsuspecting Zimbabwean women to that country for both labour and sexual exploitation. The elaborate scheme involved creating a WhatsApp group to advertise non-existent lucrative jobs in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mashonganyika processed visas, air tickets, and medical examination reports, facilitating the transportation of the victims from Zimbabwe to Oman instead of Dubai, as initially promised. The victims only discovered the deception upon arrival at Muscat International Airport in Oman, where Hassan Mohammed Ali Al Shihhi confiscated their passports and transported them to a different location.

Once in Oman, the victims were sold to work as housemaids, enduring domestic servitude with no pay, relying on leftovers for sustenance, and facing both sexual and physical abuse. The dire situation came to light when the victims reported their ordeal through Interpol and relatives, leading to police investigations and Mashonganyika’s subsequent arrest.

During the arrest, the police uncovered payments sent from Mashonganyika’s accomplice, Hassan Ali Al Shihhi in Oman, through MoneyGram. The victims were eventually located and repatriated back to Zimbabwe, shedding light on this distressing case of human trafficking.