The Kabale Grade One Magistrate, Mr Isaac Rukundo, on Wednesday convicted and sentenced 19 Rwandese and seven Congolese nationals to a fine of 40-currency points each and in default serve two years imprisonment after they pleaded guilty to charges of entering into Uganda without valid travel documents.
Mr Rukundo also directed that the convicted persons must be deported back to their respective countries immediately after paying the fine or serving the sentence.
However, one John Twizeyimana who was jointly charged with the convicted persons denied the offence of illegal entry into Uganda claiming that he is a Ugandan. He was remanded until January 29, when his case shall be heard.
Prosecution told court that on Tuesday night, the accused persons while traveling in a Congolese registered bus that was stopped at a check point in Kabale town, did not have valid travel documents thus committing the offence of illegal entry into Uganda contravening section 53 and 66 (1) L of the Uganda citizenship and immigration control act.
In February last year, the Rwandan government stopped its national from entering Uganda on claims that it was not safe for its citizens (Rwandese). Rwanda also closed its borders denying Ugandan goods from entering their country, but since then several Rwandese have been crossing into Uganda for reasons well known to them.
In November last year, 31 Rwandan nationals and four Congolese were deported through Kyanika border post in Kisoro District after they pleaded guilty to offences of illegal entry before the Kisoro Grade One Magistrate Mr Raphael Vueni.
Mr Vueni sentenced them to a caution and ordered for their immediate deportation back to their respective countries.
In December last year, security operatives in Kisoro District arrested 40 Rwandan nationals and 28 Congolese during a night operation that was aimed at cracking down on suspected criminals that terrorise the area.
The Kisoro resident district commissioner Mr Peter Mugisha addressed a press conference saying that all the arrested foreigners were to be deported back to their respective countries.