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Zimbabwe fines illegal Ugandan immigrants

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By KITSEPILE NYATHI

Posted  Wednesday, April 16  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

The immigrants were arrested as they tried to use Zimbabwe’s porous borders to cross into South Africa.

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HARARE.
A Zimbabwean court has fined seven Ugandans accused of entering the country illegally.
Court said the seven sneaked through the Zambian border on their way to Botswana.

The Ugandans who were found with valid passports said they were tricked by a group of Zimbabwean human traffickers who convinced them that they would be arrested if they went through the Victoria Falls border.

The accused
The accused, Namubiru Safina, 27, Nanyazi Esther, 29, Kobusingye Madina, 27, Nnabbanja Florence, 20, Ddumba Yusuf, 21, Nyanzi Ismail, 37, and Musinguzi Fabriano, 28, were each fined between $10 (Shs25,100) and $30 (Shs75,300) by a Victoria Falls Magistrate last Friday.

Magistrate Sharon Rosemani found the seven, all from Kampala, guilty of violating the country’s immigration laws.
In their defence, the accused said they were convinced by a gang of Zimbabweans who operate from the border that they would be arrested if they used normal channels.

An alleged Zimbabwean human trafficker, Mr Ernest Shoko, was given $50 (Shs125,500) bail after he was charged for assisting the illegal immigrants.

Popular escape route
Zimbabwe’s porous borders are popular with people from the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, who use it as route to South Africa or Botswana, to seek refuge.

Last week, 15 Zimbabweans died while trying to cross a crocodile infested Limpopo River to neighbouring South Africa.
The bodies of the border jumpers were retrieved from the flooded river by South African and Zimbabwean police last Thursday.
Some of the bodies had reportedly been hidden in a cave by crocodiles.