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19-04-2021 – The Chipata Regional Immigration Office has secured the conviction of Zambian male, Stewart Chibwete for the offence of aiding and abetting, contrary to section  46 (1) (a)  of the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.

Stewart Chibwete, a resident of Chipata was arrested on 8th April, 2021 after he was intercepted on the Lundazi-Chipata Road driving a Corolla Vehicle carrying ten (10) undocumented Ethiopian nationals. He appeared before the Chipata Magistrate Court on Friday, 16th April, 2021 and was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of K 60,000 or in default 9 months simple imprisonment. Meanwhile, the ten (10) Ethiopians were earlier convicted and sentenced for unlawful entry and are currently serving at Namuseche Correctional Facility.

Similarly, the Kafue Immigration Office has secured the conviction of Basha Bashe Ahmed (33), a Tanzanian national for the offence of smuggling of persons into Zambia contrary to section 9(1) of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act no. 11 of 2008 of the laws of Zambia. Particulars of the offence were that Basha Bashe Ahmed on 21st March, 2021 in Kafue smuggled two (02) Ethiopian nationals into Zambia through Nakonde Border in transit to South Africa, without lawful authority or justification. He appeared before the Kafue Magistrate Court on 8th April, 2021 and was found guilty of the offence and was committed to the high court for sentencing.  Meanwhile in other parts of the country, the Department between 6th and 18th April, 2021 secured one hundred and seventeen (117) convictions.

In another development, the Department of Immigration in Lusaka has apprehended fifty (50) suspected illegal immigrants during a clean-up operation. The operation was conducted on 13th April, 2021 in various parts of Lusaka, including Emmasdale, Chunga, Matero and Chawama. Those apprehended were twenty-three (23) Somalis, nine (09) Burundians, and seven (07) Congolese. Others were six (06) Zimbabweans suspected to be engaged in commercial sex work, four (04) Malawians and one (01) Tanzanian. 

Of those apprehended, nine (09) have since been referred to the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees for further screening while two (02) were released unconditionally after proving their legal immigration status. Meanwhile the thirty-nine (39) remain detained at the Lusaka Remand Correctional Facility pending prosecution. 

In other parts of the country the Department between 6th and 18th April, 2021 apprehended two hundred and one (201) persons for various immigration offences. During this period the Department also removed one hundred and forty (140) illegal immigrants from the country and refused thirty-five (35) foreign nationals entry into Zambia for failing to meet entry requirements.

The Chipata judgment should serve as a warning to members of the public to avoid aiding, abetting and harbouring illegal immigrants. Not only are these acts illegal and punishable by law but they also put the country’s security at risk. The maximum penalty for these offences is a fine of K 150,000 or 5 years imprisonment, or both.