by Thupeyo Muleya
21 June 2014
POLICE have intercepted 37 illegal Ethiopian immigrants at the 80km peg along the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway.
Police officer commanding Beitbridge district Chief Superintendent Patrick Majuta said yesterday the group was intercepted on Thursday afternoon aboard a Sharon Transport bus enroute to South Africa.
The Ethiopians, who were arrested following a tip-off were allegedly seeking to cross into the neighbouring country through an illegal entry point along the Limpopo River.
Chief Supt Majuta said the foreigners have since been charged for contravening a section of the Immigration Act.
“The group had been in the country illegally for two days pending their skipping the border to South Africa.
“When we intercepted them they had no valid travel documents. We are yet to establish the port of entry they used to enter the country,” he said.
He said they have since been taken to Beitbridge magistrates’ court where they were remanded in custody to July 4, for trial.
“They were not tried yesterday due to the unavailability of an Amharic interpreter,” he said.
Chief Supt Majuta said police were on high alert for illegal immigrants from the horn of Africa.
Of late there has been an increase in immigrants from Pakistan, Ethiopia, DRC, and Somalia who enter the country illegally and try to skip the border to South Africa. The immigrants reportedly enter the country through the Harare International Airport, Nyamapanda, Chirundu and Forbes border posts with the assistance of human trafficking syndicates operating in both South Africa and Zimbabwe.
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by Thupeyo Muleya