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‘Pay k60, 000 or go to jail’

By SIMON MUNTEMBA

TWO Zambian drivers have been convicted to two years in jail with hard labour for aiding and abetting 40 undocumented Ethiopians’ entry into the country.

This was after the duo, together with the undocumented Ethiopians were intercepted aboard a Toyota Granvia registration number ACJ 1101 and a Grand Hiace registration number ABZ 9445 by members of the community who were on a night vigil to curb the theft of cattle and other properties which was rife in Katete.

Department of Immigration public relations officer Namati Nshinka, who confirmed the development has identified the convicted drivers as Funwel Banda, 29 and Matias Phiri, 35.

Mr Nshinka said the two have been fined K60, 000 each or in default two years imprisonment with hard labour.

He said in a statement that the Katete Immigration office on Wednesday secured the convictions of two Zambians for aiding and abetting 40 undocumented Ethiopians.

He explained that the two were handed over to Immigration by the Police on October 15, 2021 after they were apprehended the previous day at Mudzime in Katete by citizens who were guarding their cattle at night.

Mr Nshinka said the Zambian drivers failed to explain their movements, prompting members of the community to inform the Police who apprehended them, along with the Ethiopians.

“They appeared before the Magistrate Court in Katete on November 3, 2021 where they were each sentenced to pay a fine of K60, 000 or in default two years imprisonment with hard labour,” he said.

He disclosed that the duo were also charged with possession of money reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime and would appear in court on November 15, 2021 for commencement of trial as they denied the charge.

Meanwhile, Mr Nshinka said the Toyota Granvia and Grand Hiace used to transport the Ethiopians were forfeited to the State.

He said the conviction of the two has brought the number of convictions secured by the department between October 28 and November 4, 2021 to 43.

During this same period, he said, the department also apprehended 440 persons for various immigration offences.

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