26-03-2021 – The Department of Immigration in Eastern Province has in the last three (03) days secured the conviction of one hundred and forty-seven (147) Ethiopians for the offence of unlawful entry into the Republic of Zambia contrary to section 11(1) as read with section 56(1) of the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia. Of the one hundred and forty-seven (147), eighty-seven (87) were convicted in Chipata while sixty (60) in Petauke.
Among those prosecuted in Chipata were the forty-two (42) intercepted on 23rd February 2021 by Officers from the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) hidden in a Malawian Registered Truck. Twenty-two (22) and thirteen (13) others were apprehended by Immigration Officers along Great East Road on 26th February 2021 and 9th March 2021, respectively. They were each sentenced to pay fines ranging from K 300 to K 500 or in default one (01) to two (02) months simple imprisonment. Meanwhile, the sixty (60) prosecuted and convicted in Petauke were each sentenced to 3 months simple imprisonment without the option of a fine.
Meanwhile, the Lusaka Regional Immigration Office has secured the conviction of Iloko Asumani, a Congolese male Refugee aged 46 years for the offence of aiding and abetting a prohibited immigrant contrary to section 46(1) as read with section 56(1) of the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia. He appeared before the Lusaka Magistrate Court on 22nd March 2021, and was sentenced to pay a fine of K 60,000 or in default 9 months simple imprisonment.
Similarly, the Department of Immigration in Lusaka has secured the conviction of Justin Kaseba, a Zambian male aged 32 years for the offence of impersonating a public officer contrary to section 102 of the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia. He appeared before the Magistrate Court on Friday, 19th March 2021, and was sentenced to pay a fine of K 10,000 or in default 9 months simple imprisonment. Kaseba was apprehended at the Lusaka Magistrate Court Complex on 3rd December 2020 after he showed intent to swindle a Burundian national of K 1,000 presenting himself as an Immigration Officer to facilitate the release from custody of the Burundian.
Meanwhile, Immigration Officers at Kariba Border Control have apprehended twenty-six (26) male Ethiopians and a Zambian male for unlawful entry and aiding, respectively. Twenty-one (21) of the twenty-six were apprehended on 23rd and 24th March 2021 by Immigration Officers within Siavonga after they failed to produce documentation legalizing their entry into Zambia. The other five (05) Ethiopians, together with a 41-year-old Zambian male by the name of Morris Chabala of Game Compound in Siavonga were earlier on apprehended by Police who alerted Immigration to the presence of the others. Preliminary investigations suggest that the Ethiopians, who are all aged between 12 and 26 years, had planned to enter Zimbabwe en route to South Africa, their apparent intended destination. They have since been transferred to Lusaka for further formalities.
The Department of Immigration between 19th and 25th March 2021 removed a total of one hundred and eleven (111) illegal immigrants from the country. This includes a mass removal exercise of thirty-three (33) Ethiopians and two (02) Rwandese on 19th March 2021 by the Lusaka Regional Immigration Office via Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. Some among the thirty-three (33) Ethiopians removed were among the one hundred and fourteen (114) Ethiopians intercepted on Saturday, 6th February 2021 in Zanimuone in what at the time appeared to be a suspected human smuggling case.
In other parts of the country, the Department during this period also apprehended one-hundred and fifty-four (154) persons for various immigration offences. The Department also secured forty-nine (49) convictions and refused twenty-one (21) foreign nationals entry into Zambia having failed to meet entry requirements.
We have noticed an alarming trend taking place in some parts of the country, especially in Eastern Province, of undocumented immigrants entering the country illegally, mostly to transit to other countries. We wish to warn anyone with intentions to enter Zambia illegally, with or without the assistance of middlemen that these journeys have dire consequences not only due to the likelihood of falling into the ruthless hands of smugglers and traffickers but also because those found to have been complicit, risk prosecution, as the case of the one hundred and forty-seven (147) Ethiopians has proven.