A 28-year-old Zambian man appeared in court in Harare, Zimbabwe yesterday facing charges related to human trafficking. Kimbungwe Yub Ibrah allegedly smuggled two Ugandan nationals into Zimbabwe under false pretences.
Prosecutors say Ibrah misled Dennis Mageya from Uganda by claiming to have secured him a job in Zimbabwe. He reassured Mageya’s parents and paid for his travel from Uganda to Zambia and then onto Zimbabwe in August 2022. However, upon arriving in Harare, Ibrah exploited Mageya by forcing him to distribute fliers which advertised him as a traditional healer, Sekuru Banda, who offered healing services.
Mageya would also withdraw money from three foreign currency money transfer accounts which were fraudulently opened using his details. It is also alleged that each time Mageya failed to withdraw money, he was denied food.
Ibrah also allegedly tricked Muddathiru Sserugga into believing he would help him travel to South Africa for study. Instead, he used the Chirundu Border Post to smuggle Sserugga into Zimbabwe as well. Like Mageya, Sserugga stayed with Ibrah in Harare under false pretences. Ibrah instructed Sserugga to create a fake Facebook profile marketing vehicles in a fraudulent scheme.
Both Ugandan men were later arrested by Zimbabwean authorities for immigration violations after the deception came to light. Ibrah pled not guilty and was denied bail ahead of his September trial, where he will face charges of deceiving and exploiting the foreign nationals through human trafficking. The court found sufficient cause to keep him in custody during legal proceedings based on the prosecution’s arguments.