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13-09-2022 – The Department of Immigration wishes to confirm the unfortunate demise of a 20-year-old Ethiopian national who died on Monday, 12th September, 2022, at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. Tirkso Giza Jabo was among forty-four (44) Ethiopians scheduled to be removed from the country after being arrested for illegal entry and unlawful stay. The tragic incident occurred on Monday, 12th September, 2022 around 15:00 hours when Mr. Jabo suddenly collapsed as the group was preparing to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to take them back home. He was pronounced dead by Medical personnel based at the Airport, and his remains have since been deposited at the University Teaching Hospital Mortuary. The cause of death is yet to be determined. The other forty-three (forty-three) were successfully removed from the country.

The removal of the forty-three (43) brings the number of Ethiopians removed from the country in four (4) days, from 8th to 12th September 2022, to One Hundred and Seven (107). This reduces the number of Ethiopians detained at various correctional facilities across the country to Eight Hundred and Fifty-Four (854), most of whom have served their sentences and await removal.

Meanwhile, the Immigration Office at Katima-Mulilo Border Control, on 9th September 2022, received thirty-one (31) Zambians removed from Namibia by that country’s authorities. The group of ten (10) Females and twenty-one (21) males aged between 20 and 42 was removed from Namibia for illegal entry and unlawful stay.

In another development, the Katete Immigration Office, on 9th September 2022, secured the conviction of seventeen (17) Ethiopian nationals for illegal entry and unlawful stay. They were apprehended on 17th June 2022 after a tip-off from concerned members of the community who spotted the group hiding in the bush in Katete District. Acting on the tip-off, a combined team of Officers from Katete Immigration Office and other security wings visited the scene, where they found a person who identified himself as Jamarat Petros Metwos and sixteen (16) other Ethiopians. Consequently, they were all sentenced to a two (2) months custodial sentence. The Katete court outcome brings the number of convictions secured by the Department between 9th and 12th September 2022 to fifty-three (53).

During this period, the Department also apprehended seventy (70) persons of different nationalities for various immigration offences and refused entry to ten (10) foreign nationals for failing to meet entry requirements.  

The Department has continued intercepting illegal migrants from the Horn of Africa who, with the assistance of traffickers and smugglers, continue to undertake dangerous journeys in search of greener pastures. We wish to discourage anyone planning to embark on such a journey from doing so. Such trips make migrants vulnerable and susceptible to abuse by traffickers and smugglers and take a severe toll on their mental and physical health, which often leads to a tragic end. We also wish to advise Zambians, especially those residing in border towns, to respect the laws of neighbouring Countries. Any Zambian desiring to travel to any country must ensure that they have the pre-requisite documents to enter and remain in that country to avoid the risk of being arrested, prosecuted, or even deported.