179 Ethiopians deported

Court Reporter
Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe has ordered 179 Ethiopians, who illegally entered Zimbabwe through Nyamapanda Border Post, to return to their country.

The group aged between 15 and 28 pleaded guilty to contravening Section 29 (1) of the Immigration Act prohibiting unlawful entry into the country.

Mr Mahwe warned and cautioned the group before handing them to the Immigration Department for immediate deportation.

The Ethiopians had to be dragged out of the courtroom by prison officers as they pleaded to be granted asylum.

They said they were running away from political violence in Ethiopia which has killed their relatives and parents.

The Ethiopians said they heard that there is a refugee camp in Zimbabwe and want protection.

Mr Mahwe advised the Ethiopians to seek proper documents first before coming to Zimbabwe.

Prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri said the Ethiopians sneaked into Zimbabwe last October.

They were spotted in Seke by villagers who alerted the police.

The Ethiopians had no permits.

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