The Mbala Immigration Office has secured the conviction of a Zambian Businessman for the offence of aiding and abetting illegal immigrants contrary to section 46(1) (a) of the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.
Victor Muliba aged 20 of Chazanga Compound in Lusaka on 24th March, 2021 in Mbala knowingly aided and abetted two Burundian illegal immigrants by facilitating their movements from Lusaka to Mbala with the purpose of exiting the country through Zombie Border.
Immigration Department, Public Relations Officer Namati Nshinka indicates in a statement that Muliba was apprehended on 10th July, 2021 together with the Burundian illegal immigrants aboard a Zombe Border-bound Toyota Noah Vehicle after it was discovered that the Burundians were holding expired passports.
“It was later discovered that the Burundians realising that their passports had expired paid Victor Muliba a sum of K 3,500 to facilitate their smooth exit from the country,” he stated.
He added that Muliba appeared before the Magistrate Court in Mbala on 21st July, 2021 and was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of K 60,000 or in default 2 years imprisonment with hard labour.
“The two Burundians were convicted and each sentenced to pay a fine of K 250. They have since been removed from the country after paying the fines,” Mr. Nshinka said.
Meanwhile, the Livingstone Regional Immigration Office has also secured the conviction of an Italian National, Canton Stefano aged 55 for engaging in Employment without a Permit contrary to section 54 as read with 56 (1) of the Immigration and Deportation Act No.18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.
Mr Nshinka explained that Stefano was apprehended on 13th July, 2021 at Da Canton Investment during a routine patrol after it was discovered that he was holding an Investors Permit under Zambezi Source Lodge Limited which had expired on 19th December, 2020 with no attempts to have it renewed.
He added that the suspect appeared before the Magistrate Court on 22nd July, 2021 and was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of K 7,000 or in default 9 months simple imprisonment.
“This brings the number of convictions secured by the Department between 21st and 22nd July, 2021 to ten,” Mr Shinka noted.
In another development, the Immigration Office at Katima-Mulilo Border Control is in receipt of ten Zambians from Namibia.
Mr Nshinka highlighted that of the ten , five were removed for unlawful entry while four for illegal fishing.
He added that two other Zambians were also received by officers at Sakania Border Control after they were removed from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for entering that country illegally.
“This brings the total number of Zambians removed from Namibia and the DRC to 31 in just five days.
Mr Nshinka further indicated that the Department of Immigration between 21st and 22nd July, 2021 apprehended 33 persons of different nationalities for various immigration offences country-wide.
“During this same period the Department also removed 36 illegal immigrants from the country,” he said.
He stated that the hefty sentence of the 20 year old Zambian for aiding and abetting illegal immigrants should serve as a timely warning to Zambian citizens and residents who are in the habit of aiding, abetting and harbouring illegal immigrants.
Mr Nshinka has advised that anyone wishing to engage a foreign national in any occupation or business must first ascertain their immigration status to avoid being sanctioned by the Department of Immigration.
“The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of up to K 150,000 or 5 years imprisonment, or both. We further wish to advise Zambians wishing to travel to any country to ensure that they have the pre-requisite documents to enter and remain in that country and abide by all the laws of that country to avoid being arrested, prosecuted or even deported,” he noted.