By Mulenga Musonda
A 35-year-old Zimbabwean has told the Choma Magistrates Court that the reason he entered Zambia illegally to buy food was as a result of the tough economy in his country.
Joe Malunga explained to Principal Resident Magistrate Idah Mupemo that he was too desperate and had no choice but to cross the border to Zambia so he can support his family.
In this matter, Malunga was charged with one count of Unlawful Entry into Zambia contrary to the Immigrations and Deportations Act of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence are that Malunga on dates unknown but between April 1 and May 20, 2021 being a Zimbabwean national unlawfully entered Zambia without a permit or Border pass.
When the matter came up for plea before Court, Malunga without hesitation pleaded guilty to the charge and explained that poverty and hardships in his country pushed him to break the law.
“Your Honour, I was so desperate and I wanted to buy food for my family, as you know things are too tough in my Country….poverty forced me to do this” he said.
And according to the Facts stated by Senior Public Prosecutor Alex Syulikwa, Malunga was apprehended at Batoka Junction in Choma aboard a Bus heading to Maamba in Sinazongwe district.
This was after he failed to avail to the Immigration Officers documents that warranted his entry or stay in Zambia.
After the facts were read to him, Malunga admitted that the statement was a clear and correct representation of what happened.
Magistrate Mupemo found him guilty on his own admission and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with hard labour but suspended the sentence for 12 months.
The Court further ruled that Malunga be deported forthwith.