By Staff Reporter
Victoria Falls, April 12, 2016 – THE Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration has deported 32 Zimbabweans living in their country due to worsening economic hardships faced by the country.
The group arrived on Saturday through Kazungula boarder post and they appeared in court on Monday facing charges of exiting through ungazzeted port of exit and they pleaded guilty to the charge.
Almost all of them originated from Harare while the few said they came from Chitungwiza, Mutare and Rusape.
For the state, Listen Nare told the court that Elvis Nyahotsi (26), Godwin Ganga (23), Farai Vushe Gwawikwa (25) and Horamba Tinodaishe (24) among others were accused of crossing into Namibia through Kazungula boarder post illegally last year in January and February leading to their arrests.
The second group comprised of Hudson Taruvinga (21), Tsitsi Muripwa (23), Tatenda Rupiya (23), Emmanuel Mujeje (24) and Frank Rusere (25) facing similar charge committed in 2013.
Among the accused were also Alex Kumuchiriro (20), Josephine Tinarwo (22) and Memory Mafirakureva (29) accused of exiting the country in 2008 and 2010 using the same modus.
The accused, all being youths and parents, said they were forced to search for economic opportunities in the diaspora as the economy in Zimbabwe continues to slide deeper into crisis.
The accused said they worked as housemaids, garden boys, construction labourers, and commercial sex workers but they could settle for anything that could relieve them from the pressures of life.
Others said they settled for agricultural occupations such as herdmen, field labourers and other related work.
The group, among them being 7 women, was in tattered clothes and did not have money with them while some were with minor children.
In mitigation, the prosecutor begged the courts for lenient sentencing as they were coming straight from Namibian prison.
“They are the first offenders your worship. They also have minor children to look after plus they have already been punished where they are coming from as they indicated that they have been serving some for more than a year. We plead the courts to be lenient though a strong caution to be given,” said Nare after hearing that they were always assaulted in prisons for their offence.
Rangarirai Gakanje, the resident magistrate sentenced all of them to 3 months imprisonment wholly suspended on condition they do not commit a similar offence.