Zimbabwe jails 148 Malawians transiting to South Africa with no passports

Chivhu – Zimbabwean courts have handed jail sentences of up to six months on 148 undocumented Malawians who were apprehended at different points in Chivhu and Murewa enroute to Beitbridge where they intended to cross into South Africa illegally.

The foreigners were handed prison terms ranging from four to six months pending deportation.

Police apprehended 65 travellers in Chivhu, while 83 were arrested in Murewa.

Chivhu magistrate Henry Sande sentenced the group of 65 to four months in jail, suspended indefinitely pending deportation.

Prosecutors told the court that police officers stationed at a roadblock along the Harare-Masvingo Road recently intercepted 65 Malawians traveling by road.

The Malawians were traveling in two buses, a Boundary with the licence plate AFQ 5485 and Sarge with the licence plate JF24GLGP.

Officers from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) discovered 54 passengers on the Sarge bus and 11 passengers on the other bus.

All 65 passengers were traveling without valid documents allowing them to enter or stay in Zimbabwe.

Police said the 86 Malawians were found in a house in a town near Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique.

“On August 15, police in Murewa arrested 86 foreign nationals comprising 76 males and 10 females, for entering the country without travel documents,” police said earlier.

“The suspects were intercepted at a house in a medium-density suburb in Murewa after being assisted by a local transporter.”

Zimbabwe is a transit point for citizens and vehicular traffic travelling to South Africa, a regional economic hub offering better opportunities in a region battered by massive poverty and joblessness among its nationals.

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