Stolen children’s ordeal ends

FOUR Zimbabwean children who were abducted and smuggled into Botswana in September last year have been reunited with their mother.

Staff Reporter

The repatriation was conducted by the Botswana Red Cross Society’s tracing unit last month. The children were abducted by a man suspected to be a father to three of them. The fourth child was taken to the neighbouring country after the man claimed he would reunite her with her mother.

However, the man reportedly sexually abused the child when they arrived in Gaborone.

“While the Botswana Police Service was still investigating the matter, Botswana Red Cross Society was requested to provide temporary shelter for the concerned minors,” the society said in a statement published by the Voice newspaper.

“The mother of the children is said to have denied ever giving their father permission to remove the children from Zimbabwe.”

Botswana Red Cross assisted the children with psychosocial support, accommodation, shelter, food and toiletries during their stay while still processing their travel documents.

“The Zimbabwean consular in Botswana assisted the minors with temporary travel documents to go back home,” the society added.

“The process was well co-ordinated through inter-agency collaboration between Botswana Red Cross Society, the department of immigration, the Department of Social Services, the Zimbabwean consular in Botswana as well as our counterparts in Zimbabwe.

“This enabled information exchanges and complementary interventions for the beneficiaries and it helped prevent duplication of activities and avoided gaps in assistance provided by Botswana Red Cross Society.”

The Botswana Red Cross said it had a mandate of helping reunite families who have been separated around the world.

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