The Zambia Department of Immigration has secured eighty-nine (89) convictions, apprehended one hundred and eighty-one (181), and removed one hundred and thirty-one (131), both Zambians and Foreign Nationals for various offences committed in different parts of the country.
The Department of Immigration Public Relations Officer Namati Nshinka highlighted that on 31st August, 2022, the Kapiri Mposhi Immigration Office, secured the conviction of two (2) Pakistan nationals namely Sher Falak (26) years, a plumber, and Ahmed Zaheer (26) years, a student, for the offence of failing to appear before an immigration officer contrary to section 12(2) as read with section 56(1) of the Immigration and Deportation Act No.18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.
Mr Nshinka added that the Kapiri Mposhi Office intercepted the duo that was travelling on a Lusaka-bound Public Service Bus at Luanshimba Checkpoint on 28th August, 2022 when a routine examination of their passports revealed that they did not have entry endorsements.
“As a result, they were each sentenced to pay a fine of K 40,000 or, in default, nine (9) months simple imprisonment,” he said
Mr Nshinka noted that similarly, the Chadiza Immigration Office, on 29th August, 2022, secured the conviction of a 32-year-old Nigerian Businessman, Isaac Mukonge, for the offences of illegal entry, failure to appear before an immigration officer, two (2) counts of giving false information to an immigration officer, unlawful stay, and concealing of true identity.
“The Chadiza Magistrate Court sentenced Isaac Mukonge to pay a fine of K10,000 for all six (6) counts or, in default, twelve (12) months simple imprisonment,” he said
Mr Nshinka mentioned that the Kapiri Mposhi and Chadiza Court outcomes bring the number of convictions secured by the Department of Immigration through the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) between 26th August and 1st September, 2022 to eighty-nine (89).
And the Serenje Immigration Office has detained ten (10) female Ethiopians and seven (7) male Bangladesh nationals aged between 18 and 30 years for failing to appear before an Immigration Officer on entry, the Office also detained a 39-year-old Zambian driver Fabian Mutale of Ndola, for aiding and abetting the foreign nationals, the Police apprehended them on 29th August, 2022 aboard a Lusaka-bound white Toyota Quantum Vehicle Registration Number BAV 8469 after a car chase that ensued after the driver of the Toyota Quantum decided to drive past a Police Checkpoint at Pensulo.
Mr Nshinka cited that the foreigners and the Zambian were handed-over to the Immigration on 30th August, 2022, and preliminary investigation revealed that all the seventeen (17) foreign nationals had valid passports but did not have entry endorsements, indicating that they did not appear before an immigration officer on entry.
“They are all detained at Serenje Correctional Facility pending prosecution,” he said
He added that the Kasumbalesa Immigration Office has apprehended twenty-nine (29) suspected prohibited immigrants in a Department of Immigration-led clean-up operation conducted in the early hours of 29th August, 2022 in Kasumbalesa with the support of other security departments.
He further added that those apprehended were twenty-six (26) Congolese, two (2) Tanzanians, and one (1) Mozambican and none of them had any documentation at the time of the operation, and they were all detained at Kasumbalesa Police Station pending further formalities.
“The Serenje and Kasumbalesa incidents bring the number of persons apprehended for various offences between 26th August and 1st September, 2022 to one hundred and eighty-one (181),” he added
In another development, Mr Nshinka explained that the Department of Immigration in Lusaka, on 26th August, 2022, removed sixty-four (64) illegal immigrants from the country in a mass removal exercise and those removed were thirty-seven (37) Burundians, twenty-two (22) Tanzanians, three (3) Somalis, and two (2) Rwandese, as most of the persons removed had not yet appeared before the courts but were removed to decongest the Correctional Facilities.
“The mass removal exercise brings the number of removals between 26th August and 1st September 2022 to one hundred and thirty-one (131),” Mr Nshinka explained
Meanwhile, on 31st August, 2022 the Katima-Mulilo Immigration Office received eighteen (18) Zambians removed from Namibia for illegal entry and unlawful stay. This brings the number of Zambians received after being removed from a foreign country between 26th August and 1st September, 2022 to thirty-two (32), with eleven (11) received by the same Office on 30th and 31st August, 2022 after being removed by the Namibian authorities for illegal entry and unlawful stay.
In addition, the Sakania Immigration Office on 26th August, 2022 received three (3) other Zambians after Congolese Authorities removed them from that country for various offences.
The Department of Immigration has since encouraged members of the public with information about any individual, business, or employer who may be aiding and abetting illegal immigrants or contravening any of the provisions of the Immigration and Deportation Act to report to them.