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52 Ethiopians sentenced for illegal entry         

The Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Tuesday, convicted and sentenced 52 Ethiopians to four months imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for entering the country illegally contravening Section 21(1) of the Malawi Immigration Act.

The court heard that immigration officers arrested the convicts during night patrols on 19th March, 2024 around Mkombezi area in Rumphi district.

According to Public Relations Officer for Immigration and Citizenship Services for the northern region, Francis Chitambuli, the convicts hid inside the back of a 20 tonner lorry, registration number NE 9315 belonging to Skylight Logistics.

The convicted immigrants – Picture courtesy of Chitambuli

In his submission to the court, State Prosecutor Bright Matemba, prayed for a custodial sentence saying there is an influx of illegal immigrants into the country.

In his ruling, Senior Resident Magistrate Ashford Harawa convicted all the 52 Ethiopians to four months IHL without an option of a fine.

Harawa ordered that at the expiry of the sentence, each convict should be deported from Malawi using his own costs in respect to Section 10 of the Malawi Immigration Act.

The court has since recommended to the Minister of Homeland Security to deport the convicts after serving their sentences pursuant to section 39 of the Immigration Act.

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