Six Chinese nationals were yesterday deported by Zimbabwe Immigration officials after they were caught, tried and convicted of working and staying in the country illegally.
After their conviction, the court cautioned and discharged them, but Zimbabwe Prisons officials immediately picked and took them to the Zimbabwe Immigration Department for deportation.
Jian Xinku (38), Xing Wutun (48), Lou Benwu (35), Qingyuan Fu (54), Yaofang Yu (47) and Jin Zhang (23) were arrested last Monday at Ming Shang Sino Africa Mine and spent a week in detention before appearing at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Ming Shang Sino Africa Mine is situated at 172 Rhodesville Avenue in Greendale, Harare.
The court charged them with contravening Section 21(1) (a) as read with Section 29 (2a) of the Immigration Act, which makes it an offence for one to fail to produce a certificate or permit to enter or remain in Zimbabwe.
They were also charged for contravening Section 36 (1) (h) as read with Section 36 (1) (j) of the same act which prohibits one from engaging in employment without a permit authorising such employment.
While they were struggling to express themselves in English, their lawyer Phillipa Dube, assisted them by telling the court they were able to follow court proceedings with their limited knowledge of the English language.
They all pleaded guilty to the charges of overstaying and working illegally in Zimbabwe.
Prosecutor Joyce Sithole told the court the Chinese nationals were tracked down and rounded up after records at the immigration offices revealed they had overstayed in the country.
Upon entering the country on different dates, the Chinese nationals masqueraded as business visitors, but found their way to the mine where they were employed as computer control engineers and technicians.