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5-11-2022 – The Luangwa Immigration Office, on Thursday, 3rd November 2022, intercepted Twenty-Six (26) Ethiopian nationals at an area before the Luangwa Bridge Checkpoint. The Immigration Officers were alerted to the suspects’ presence a few kilometres before the Checkpoint by concerned members of the public prompting them to rush to the scene where they initially apprehended three (3) at around 22:00 hours on 3rd November 2022, as the others scampered. A search for the suspects by Immigration and Police Officers soon ensued, leading to the arrest of twenty-three (23) more by 05:00 hours on 4th November 2022, bringing the total number to Twenty-Six (26). All the suspects are undocumented. It is believed that two (2) other Ethiopians remain at large. Preliminary investigations suggest that the group aged between 18 and 35 intended to go to South Africa via Zimbabwe. They are currently detained at Luangwa Police Station and are scheduled to be transferred to Lusaka, where they will be prosecuted for illegal entry and unlawful stay.

In a related incident, the Mpika Immigration Office has apprehended Twenty-One (21) male Ethiopian nationals for failing to appear before an Immigration Officer on entry. The group, aged between 17 and 28, was nabbed on Thursday, 3rd November 2022, at about 17:00 hours as they hid in the bushes of Musakanya Kombe Hills, 2 Kilometres from the Mpika Central Business District, after a tip-off from members of the public. The suspects are all undocumented and are currently detained at Mpika Correctional Facility pending prosecution. The Luangwa and Mpika incidents bring the number of persons apprehended between 28th October and 3rd November 2022 to Two Hundred and Seventeen (217).

Further, the Zambezi Immigration Office, on 1st November 2022, secured the conviction of a 35-year-old male Ugandan national for the offences of illegal entry, unlawful stay, concealing true identity, and engaging in employment without a Permit. Particulars of the offences are that Katende Ramathan, between 1st January 2009 and 20th May 2022 in Zambezi District, being a Ugandan national, illegally entered Zambia and unlawfully stayed in Zambia without a valid Residence Permit, Temporary Residence Permit, or a valid border pass. Furthermore, during this period, he wilfully and with intent to conceal his identity, made representation purporting to be a Zambian, when in fact not. Lastly, Katende Ramathan unlawfully engaged in work as a herbalist without a permit allowing him to do so. He was sentenced to pay a fine of K 1,000 or, in default, two hundred and eight-five (285) months simple imprisonment for all four counts. This brings the number of convictions secured by the Department of Immigration between 28th October and 3rd November 2022 to Sixty-Five (65).

The Department of Immigration, between 31st October and 1st November 2022 removed Fifty-Eight (58) Ethiopians after serving sentences for the offences of illegal entry and unlawful stay. The latest removals bring the total number of Ethiopians removed from various Correctional Facilities since 8th September 2022 to Five Hundred and Ninety (590). It also brings the number of persons of different nationalities removed between the 28th October and 3rd November 2022 to One-Hundred and Forty-Three (143).

Video Footage of the Twenty-One (21) Ethiopians found
hiding in makeshift shelters deep in the bushes of Musakanya
Kombe Hills, in Mpika District, Muchinga Province, Zambia.