Malawians convicted for border jumping
Masvingo (Masvingo Star-New Ziana) – Twenty-eight Malawian nationals were arrested and fined $100 each last week, or alternatively 15 days in jail, for entering the country without traveling documents.
They entered Zimbabwe through Forbes Border Post in Mutare, en route to South Africa.
They pleaded not guilty to contravening sections of the Immigration Act, but were convicted by Masvingo magistrate, Abednigo Ndebele after a full trial.
The charges arose from the group’s failure to produce passports to immigration.
It was the State case that on September 7 at the 290km peg along the Mutare-Masvingo road, the 28 nationals, who were traveling in a truck, were stopped at a roadblock and asked to produce their traveling documents.
In their defence, the 28 told the court that they had given their passports to the driver of the truck to present them to the immigration officers at Forbes Border Post, and did not know what had happened afterwards since it was their first time to cross a border.
They said they had come from Blantyre in Malawi and were going to Johannesburg in South Africa.
The group made a passionate plea to the magistrate to release them since they had gone for three days without food and some of them were now sick.
Magistrate Ndebele pointed out to the Malawians that there were ongoing xenophobic attacks on African migrants in South Africa, and therefore it was not safe for them to proceed.
Group leader, Jinga Adam Saidi, (28), said they were not aware of the anti-African violence.
Masvingo Star-New Ziana.