Foreign affairs office secures air tickets for Malawi women trapped in Oman – Capital Radio Malawi
13 June, 2024

Foreign affairs office secures air tickets for Malawi women trapped in Oman

.Government needs about  K150 bn extra in contractual penalties

The Ministry of Foreign has disclosed that it has managed to secure Air tickets for 50 women enslaved in Oman.

The development follows an SOS that was sounded by the women who went to the country to work, that they are working under inhumane conditions but are being denied to leave for Malawi.

The plight of these women has been a hot potato for some time, with labour officials having told the nation that something is being done to rescue the women, who are still there till today.

Earlier this week, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) disclosed that it has written the UN on the same and is still waiting for response.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa accused the authorities of deliberately dragging its feet on the matter.

But in an interview with Capital FM, Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesperson John Kabaghe, said the government has taken some steps towards rescuing the women.

Kabaghe says they have managed to secure air tickets, but are facing challenges in securing money to pay as a penalty for breach of contract by the women.

“Government secured funding for their Air ticket however, there is an additional fee that must be paid which is ranging to $3 000 per person which must be paid in order to have them come back to Malawi.

“…They signed a contract and, in that contract, and those contracts are legally binding for someone to come back so someone to cut short that contract period they must refund or pay the amount which is stipulated which is about that amount.” Kabaghe indicated.

The money is the total amount said to have been spent by the sponsors on each woman’s air ticket, visa, medical tests, police clearance and other related travel requirements.

Up to date, only 7 out of 56 reported women have been repatriated home while fears of great human rights violations continue

Meanwhile, Kabaghe stresses that talks are underway with the Ministry of Finance to provide funding for the ransom.

“We have been engaging the Ministry of Finance to indicate that this the situation and we will need support and the Ministry of Finance is aware of the issue and they have indicated that they will be doing whatever they can to support the repatriation of the Malawians. At whatever point that the Ministry of Finance is able to come through with the finances it will be a touch and go situation,” Kabaghe added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry is further working with various stakeholders in the society to bring awareness on the dangers of travel to countries where there welfare will not be catered for.

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