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18-01-2022 – The Department of Immigration in Chipata on 14th January, 2022 secured the conviction of a 29-year-old Zambian Truck Driver of Chipata, Lazarous Phiri for assisting seventy-seven (77) Ethiopians to enter Zambia illegally, contrary to section 46 (1)(a) of the Immigration and Deportation Act Number 18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.

Lazarous Phiri was apprehended on 23rd October, 2021 in Chadiza District in connection with a similar case involving the illegal entry into Zambia of 48 Ethiopians intercepted in Chadiza and Sindamisale. He was on 21st April, 2021, positively identified as the Driver of the Truck with Horse registration number BAL 9254 and Trailer Registration number BAB 5570 carrying seventy-seventy (77) Ethiopians who entered Zambia without lawful documents but the now-convict managed to flee the scene.

On 12th November, 2021, he was formally charged for having unlawfully and knowingly assisted the seventy-seven (77) Ethiopian nationals who entered Zambia without lawful documents by providing them transportation. He was sentenced to pay a fine of K 100,000 or in default 9 months imprisonment with hard labour and in addition to the fine, to serve 20 months imprisonment with hard labour, both sentences to run concurrently. Meanwhile, the Seventy-Seven (77) Ethiopians were earlier prosecuted and convicted for illegal entry and unlawful stay and were subsequently removed from the country after serving their sentences. This brings the number of convictions secured by the Department of Immigration between 14th and 17th January, 2022 to Seventeen (17).

During this period the Department also apprehended Fifty-Three (53) persons for various immigration offences, removed Forty (40) illegal immigrants from the country and refused Eight (08) foreign nationals entry into the country for failing to meet entry requirements.

The conviction of Mr. Lazarous Phiri should serve as a timely warning to Drivers who are in the habit of assisting illegal immigrants. The Department also wishes to advise motor vehicle owners to warn drivers of their vehicles to desist from using the vehicles in the commission of offences as they risk losing such vehicles to the state.