By Thupeyo Muleya
A Beitbridge magistrate on Thursday jailed for an effective four months two cross-border transporter operators commonly known as Omalayitsha who were arrested while facilitating the illegal migration of seven foreigners from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
Among the immigrants were two Somalis and five Ethiopians who had entered the country illegally and were in transit to the neighbouring country.
Mandlenkosi Mubaiwa (33) and Melusi Msebele (33) all of Bulawayo were convicted for contravening a section of the Immigration Act and violating the National lockdown regulations when they appeared before Miss Varaidzo Gabi.
They were left with an effective four months to serve after three of the seven months jail term were conditionally set aside for five years.
The seven foreigners were also taken to court, where they were warned and cautioned and are now being detained at the local prison pending deportation to their respective countries.
The duo, who were travelling from Bulawayo and heading to South Africa via Beitbridge Border Post in a Toyota Quantum picked up the seven foreigners in Gwanda on Monday evening at around 8 PM.
They were intercepted by police at a roadblock at the 317 KM peg along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road near Bangale shops.
During interrogations, it was discovered that the Somalis and Ethiopians had no valid travel documents and had engaged the duo to facilitate their border jumping into South Africa. They were all arrested.
Police named the foreigners as; Mahamed Huseen (20) and Kamal Hasan (20) both Somalians and the Ethiopians: Tamrat Doleso (20), Marekos Shugute Badoho (20), Mehew Merekias (22) Elamu Evbalo (22), and Tadere Tadiwar (24).
The Department of Immigration with the assistance of other security agents, have been intercepting Ethiopians, Somalians, Congolese, Eritreans, and citizens of countries north of the Zambezi River during their great trek to the south of the Limpopo. The Chronicle