Malawi needs K13 million (about $18 700) to repatriate 28 young women who are stranded in Kuwait following botched up employment contracts which have seen some of them claiming victimisation.
The young women are currently being hosted at the Malawi Embassy in Kuwait after reports indicated they were destitute since their employers seized their passports.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila said in an interview yesterday he was consulting to see how the funds could be sourced as the financial year ends on June 30.
He said: “This is a sad situation and we know these women need to come back. But, as a ministry, we are trying all we can and I am sure you are aware that the budget is coming up. It is a difficult position, but we are trying our level best.”
Kasaila also confirmed that the girls dealt with private companies in Kuwait because the Kuwait Government refused to enter into labour agreements with Malawi Government some years back.
He said: “This is a tricky situation and that is why we just want to bring the girls back. The Kuwait Government cannot take up this matter because to them, this relationship does not exist. The contract was with private companies, so it’s the Malawi Government and these private companies [to sort out the issue].”
Apparently, the Malawians are thought to have travelled to the Gulf Region under false information; hence, human trafficking charges.
According to a report on the stakeholders meeting held at Ministry of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development on May 5 this year, there are numerous abuses of women travelling to Kuwait and the Gulf Region, including seizures of their passports. n