By Harry Fisher|
Now Daily Investigation|
Faith Rutendo was thrilled when her sister Rose invited her to join her in the United Kingdom. Armed with only O’Levels and a nursing certificate, Faith’s life was going nowhere in Zimbabwe and she grabbed the chance with glee. Her husband Sam had lost his job as a salesman after stealing company money and his chances of getting another job soon were next to nil.
“My husband suggested that we sell our cars and go to UK together but my sister flatly refused. She told me that I had to come alone because she could only accommodate one person and that would be me. She told me that my husband had a criminal record and that might complicate things,” Faith said.
While in Harare, Faith met some Nigerians who gave her new fake papers, including a marriage certificate which indicated she was married to one Prince Adewoye. Her sister, who was an immigration attorney’s assistant in London assured her that it was just a plot to get her into the UK as spousal visas were easier to get.
On arrival in the UK, Faith was met by her sister Rose, who introduced her to Adewoye, the man she had been shown in photos and told to pretend was her husband.
“I went along with my sister’s plan and even kissed the Nigerian stranger at the airport as my sister said it was necessary, for the cameras. We went to Adewoye’s house in north London. My sister told me Adewoye was her colleague at the hospital where she worked and was going to put me up for a few days while she arranged for me to get a job, a house and a college place to further my nursing, then she left, saying she was going to work,” Faith said.
Later, Adewoye drugged her, took her to his bedroom and raped her several times.
“I was shocked when I woke up naked in this man’s bed. When I protested and told him I was married in Zimbabwe, he told me that as far as he was concerned I was his wife. He had paid a lot of money to get me to the UK and if I wanted to go, I had to pay him £20 000, which he knew I did not have,” said Faith.
When she kept pestering him to allow her to go to some relatives in the UK, Adewoye laid the cards on the table. He told her she was an illegal immigrant using a false name and fake papers. That alone could land her in prison for many years. Then the gangster threatened he could send people to Zimbabwe to kill her husband and son.
“He said he could post naked pictures of himself with me in bed on the internet,” Faith said.
Later, Adewoye threw a big party and introduced Faith as his wife. However, Sam in Zimbabwe got wind of this and has since instituted divorce proceedings against her.
Faith eventually escaped and is now trying to piece her life together with the help of a British medical charity. She is also actively searching for Zimbabweans trapped by human trafficking gangs in the UK.
“We rescued a young woman last week by paying £20 000. It was exhausting work trying to raise the money but I am glad she still has her marriage in Zimbabwe despite the abuse she went through after being given false job promises and then being sold into sex slavery,” Faith said.
According to the United States government, thousands of Zimbabwean women are trafficked into the UK every year with fake promises of jobs, education and money, only to end up trapped by gangsters.
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