ZBC launches Safe Kids campaign

By Fungai Jachi

THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has taken a bold step in the fight against child trafficking through the launch of the Safe Kids Campaign, which is part of the national broadcaster’s corporate social responsibility programme.

Child trafficking is one of the worst crimes against humanity that has become rampant across the globe, with an estimated 10 million children among the victims each year.

It is against this background that ZBC is interrogating the issue of child trafficking through the Safe Kids Campaign launched in Harare this Wednesday.

Through a documentary titled, ‘Finding the Boy Awakhiwe,’ ZBC traces a case of suspected child trafficking and unravels the serious crime which has become a social issue.

ZBC board member, Advocate Ajay Singh said the national broadcaster is committed to playing its part in ending child trafficking.

“Through this documentary, ZBC shares its commitment to continue reporting and tracking missing children through all forms of communication, television, radio and online platforms as part of its corporate social responsibility.”

The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, who was the Guest of Honour at the launch, pledged government support for the noble cause.

“As the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, we are proud that ZBC has started this noble cause that will raise awareness on child trafficking and trafficking of persons in general,” she said.

“The government of Zimbabwe’s departments and institutions are involved in the investigation of trafficking cases and it’s doing all it can to ensure it ends this diabolical practice through the enactment of policies and pieces of legislation such as the Trafficking in Persons Act of 2014 and the government has clear project plans to combat human trafficking.”

ZBC News’ Investigative Editor, Theophilus Chuma, who leads the team behind the production of the documentary, says there is a need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to curb child trafficking.

“This documentary highlights an issue that has been sitting in Zimbabwe and requires urgent attention from relevant authorities. If all hands are put on deck, then definitely we are going to win this war against child trafficking in Zimbabwe,’ he said.

Partners praised ZBC for taking such a huge step to protect children.

“We would like to applaud ZBC for this social responsibility programme, especially as it focuses on the safety of children. Policing is not the business of the police alone. It is very good that the national broadcaster has come on board to fight crime,” said Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, ZRP national spokesperson.

“We want to make sure that we engage further as stakeholders to ensure that we come up with strategies that enable us to create safe spaces for our children,” said Bishop Albert Chikuni.

The documentary traces the story of the boy Awakhiwe Ncube, who was allegedly kidnapped and trafficked to Kenya by a couple believed to be part of a racket of human traffickers.

Meanwhile, ZBC and its partners including the government, UNICEF and the Zimbabwe Republic Police signed an oath to work together in ending child trafficking.