Botswana security agents are on high alert following a spate of incidents revealing that the country is a source, transit and destination for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, Botswana Police Service revealed this week. Criminal Investigation Department, Deputy Director, Kesetsenao Tshweneitsile told Sunday Standard that Botswana security agents are on alert following incidents of human trafficking where Botswana is being targeted and used as a transit for those trafficked to SADC and European countries.
In the latest incident Botswana security agents last month foiled an attempt by a Zimbabwean trafficker to smuggle Zimbabwean children into the country. Tshweneitsile confirmed that the ten children comprised of boys and girls suspected to be victims of child trafficking were re-united with their family members after police intercepted the alleged trafficker at Martin drift border gate last month. He said that the trafficker had forced children to jump the border where the trafficker was arrested for aiding children to enter the country illegally. He said that trafficker claimed that he was sent by the parents who are working in farms in South Africa to bring them to South Africa. He said the trafficker paid an admission of guilt fine bringing the children in to Botswana illegally.
He further revealed that they are currently helping victims of trafficking from Uganda and Zimbabwe in Botswana. International Organisation for Migration Spokesperson, Mukombi Mmpeiwa on the other hand told Sunday Standard that the incident was the latest in the rising number of cases where Zimbabwe nationals more especially kids have become the target of traffickers. Mukombi revealed that they currently helping a Zimbabwean girl who was trafficked in to Botswana. It emerged that Botswana is also a source of country and at least 10 Batswana victims of human trafficking were recently rescued in Canada where they were lured into the country under the pretext that they would be given jobs.
Tshweneitsile explained that Batswana were targeted for trafficking to Canada because Batswana were not required to provide entry visas into Canada. There are fears that the problem of human trafficking in Botswana will get worse before it get better, on the back of Africa’s growing poverty and unemployment .