Magistrate Sharon Rosemani on Monday sentenced the Tanzanian Baikari Katan Limo to one and a half months in prison after she found him guilty of contravening the Immigration Act.
The four Congolese nationals whom he had helped to skip the border illegally were deported. The four were fleeing political violence in that country following disputed elections.
According to the state’s case, Limo unlawfully assisted four Congolese nationals-Tshitenga Tshibwabwa Martine Mangala, Muleka Mangala, Serena Mangala Ntumba and Kabunda Mangala Cybela to enter Zimbabwe from Zambia without travel and identification documents.
Limo reportedly assisted the four to enter into the country by asking for transport from a Zambian truck driver, Willie Mulenga while they were in that country to ferry them from Zambia to Victoria Falls.
However, upon entering Zimbabwe, the truck driver was asked by the Immigration officers to produce travelers’ documents for Mangala Cybela who was seated in the passenger’s seat with Limo and he failed to do so leading to a thorough search of the whole truck by police officers.
It was then discovered that there were three other Congolese hidden in the horse leading to their arrest and that of Limo because they did not have permits to be in the country.
Limo pleaded guilty to the charge of illegally assisting the Congolese to enter the country and was subsequently jailed six weeks in prison for the offence.
The incident comes a few days after reports said churches in Bulawayo had rescued 26 Congolese nationals who fled violence in their country 2 by providing them with shelter, food, and clothing among other necessities.