9-02-2022 – Immigration Officers at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on 7th February, 2022 refused a Zambian female travelling to Oman exit from Zambia. The female who is in her late twenties intended to travel to Oman to take-up a job as house maid when she was denied exit for not having clearance from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. This is the third incident where Zambians wishing to take-up jobs in the service industry abroad, have been intercepted at the Airport in less than a week , with similar interceptions of four (04) other Zambians headed for Turkey and Pakistan having been made on 5th and 4th February, 2022, respectively. Thirty (30) Malawians were also refused entry at Chirundu in Zimbabwe in a suspected human trafficking case. They have since been removed from the country through Mwami Border Control.
Meanwhile, the Chadiza Immigration Office has secured the conviction of forty-eight (48) Ethiopians for failing to appear before an Immigration Officer on entry. Forty-three (43) were apprehended in a Department of Immigration-led operation conducted on 24th October, 2021 in Khondwani village while five (05) were intercepted around Namandevu area, 50 km from Chadiza. They appeared before the Magistrate Court in Chadiza on 1st February, 2022 where they were convicted and sentenced to pay fines of between K 500 and K 1,000 or in default 5 and 7 months simple imprisonment. They have since been transferred to Namuseche Correctional Facility to begin serving their prison terms, having failed to pay the fines.
Similarly, the Monze Immigration Office has secured the conviction of Seventeen (17) Somalis and Nine (09) Bangladeshi nationals for failing to appear before an Immigration Officer on entry. The convicts were among Thirty-Two (32) foreign nationals and a Zambian driver apprehended on 18th January 2022 at Chisekesi Checkpoint aboard a Livingstone-bound Mitsubishi Rosa Bus. They comprised (21) Somalis, ten (10) Bangladeshi nationals, and one (01) Ethiopian. Thirty-One (31) appeared before the Monze Magistrate Court on 7th February, 2022 where the Seventeen (17) Somalis and Nine (09) Bangladeshi nationals were convicted to pay fines of between K 1,500 and K 15,000 or in default 2 and 3 months simple imprisonment. Meanwhile, four (04) Somali juveniles and the Zambian driver were discharged on account of age and insufficient evidence, respectively. The Ethiopian is yet to appear before Court for lack of an interpreter.
In yet another court development, the Ndola Regional Immigration Office on 2nd February, 2022 secured the conviction of a 32 year-old Serbian footballer of Buildcon Football Club, Sasa Teofanov for unlawful stay contrary to section 11(3) and 52(1) as read with section 56(1) of the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia. He was apprehended on 26th January, 2022 in a routine operation in Northrise Ndola when he failed to produce documentation legalizing his stay in Zambia. Investigations later revealed that he was in the books of Buildcon Football Club. He was sentenced to pay a fine of K 10,000 or in default 9 months simple imprisonment. He paid the fine and was placed on a Temporary Permit to wind-up and leave the country. Meanwhile, Buildcon was also fined K 40,000 for harbouring. This brings the number of convictions secured by the Department of Immigration between 1st and 8th February, 2022 to One Hundred and Twenty-Eight (128).
During this same period the Department apprehended One Hundred and Forty-Nine (149) persons for various immigration offences, removed One Hundred and Ten (110) illegal immigrants from the country and refused Twenty-Two (22) foreign nationals entry into the country for failing to meet entry requirements. The Department has noted with concern a growing trend where unsuspecting Zambians are being lured to travel abroad by fellow Zambian citizens and foreigners, but end up stranded and in some cases, being exploited. We further wish to advise members of the public planning to travel abroad, especially prospective students and job seekers to verify adverts of job offers and scholarships with relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Consular Offices, the Department of Immigration and the International Organization for Migration.