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Abducted Children Returned from Zimbabwe

December 17, 2012 permalink

Two children held in Zimbabwe in defiance of courts in both countries have been returned to their mother Biatra Muzabazi in Canada. Contrast this with the case of Christopher and Alexander Watkins, who remain in Poland though courts have given Canadian father Stephen Watkins full custody.



Toronto family reunited after children held in Zimbabwe

Two young children are back in Toronto after a summer vacation in Zimbabwe turned into an international tug-of-war over their custody.

Biatra Muzabazi, the children’s mother, thanked Toronto police and all the other agencies involved in bringing her children home at a news conference Monday morning.

“You made it possible to be with my kids for Christmas,” she said.

Muzabazi said the incident began when her children Shane, 4, and Rene, 7, went to visit their father’s relatives in Zimbabwe in April.

At the end of the summer, it became apparent that her estranged husband’s family did not intend to send them back to Canada when the children were enrolled in a Zimbabwean boarding school.

The school allegedly helped keep details of the children’s whereabouts from Zimbabwean authorities.

Toronto police investigators notified Foreign Affairs, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Missing Children Services and Interpol. The Ministry of Attorney General Ontario Central Authority office was also involved in the case.

Eventually, Muzabazi flew to Zimbabwe to try and bring her children back to Canada.

At that point, police say one of her husband’s relatives took the children from the school and went into hiding.

Last week, the children were finally brought to the Canadian embassy in Harare. The family returned to Toronto on Thursday.

Source: Toronto Star