50 prohibited immigrates fined
Chinsali April 20, ZANIS ——— The Chinsali magistrate court in Muchinga Province has fined 50 Ethiopian nationals KR 400.00 each or in default serve a one -year and six months imprisonment with hard labour.
Appearing Magistrate Shaderick Chnada for judgment yesterday were Sisa Asefa and 49 others aged between 11 to 37 who stood charged with one count of failing to report to an Immigration officer at Nakonde Border Post contrary to section 12(1) and 51(1) of the Immigration and Deportation Act number 18 of the 2010 of the laws of Zambia.
Facts before the court were that on March 29 this year, 50 prohibited immigrants jointly and whilst acting together being persons entering Zambia through Nakonde border post, did fail to report to the Immigration officer as required by law.
The court found the 50 prohibited immigrants guilty upon their own admission of guilty and convicted them accordingly.
Passing judgment Magistrate Chanda said the court had heard all what the 50 Ethiopian nationals had said in their mitigation adding that he would have only deported them back to their country of origin but that the offence committed was serious as it borders on national security.
Magistrate Chanda said the 50 Ethiopian nationals knew very well that entering any country without legal documentation and failing to report to an Immigration officer is an offence saying he was therefore ordering them to pay a fine of KR 400.00 each or in default serve an 18 months imprisonment with hard labour.
He said the government of Zambia will not allow or tolerate people to enter in the country without proper papers and warned the 50 prohibited immigrants that if they repeat the same offence, the court will not be compassionate on them.
Magistrate Chanda ordered that the 50 prohibited immigrants should pay the fine by 17: 00 hours on adding that the order of deportation Act number 18 of 2010 should be applied and that the state through the Ministry of Home Affairs should be notified.
In mitigation, the 50 Ethiopian nationals asked the court to exercise maximum leniency on them saying they were wrong to have entered Zambia without first reporting to an Immigration officer at Nakonde border post.
They told the court that they have suffered a lot and that they wanted to go back to their country to be reunited with their families.
On March 29, this year, police at Chinsali intercepted a motor vehicle Mitsubishi Fuso Fighter Registration number ABH 8004 at a police check point around 05:30 hours carrying 50 prohibited immigrants.