34 Ethiopians languish in custody over language barrier

Thirty-four illegal Ethiopian immigrants, who were arrested at farm in Marondera last month, have been further remanded in custody to February 28, as the courts scouts for an Aramaic interpreter to facilitate their trial.

By Jairos Saunyama

Marondera magistrate Ignatius Mhene last week postponed the matter after it emerged that the all-male group does not understand English.

However, three locals Oswell Machipisa (27), Anyway Ndowa (34) and Tendai Shamba (34), who are accused of transporting the illegal migrants from Nyamapanda border post en route to Beitbridge Border Post, were granted $50 bail each.

The trio is expected back in court on February 23 for continuation of trial.

According to court papers, on January 29, Machipisa and Ndowa allegedly ferried the illegal immigrants from Nyamapanda Border Post to Macheke, where they hid them in the bush at Monchera Farm.

It is alleged that Machipisa left Ndowa guarding the foreign nationals, as he sought alternative transport to take them to Beitbridge.

The court heard that the Monchera farm manager, identified as Haukozi, spotted Machipisa boarding a van and intercepted him.

Machipisa was taken to the police station, where he implicated Ndowa, who kept on calling him inquiring about transport to move the foreign nationals.

It is alleged that the police then arrested the Ethiopians after Machipisa took them to where they were hiding.

Ndowa, who was not at the scene when police arrived, was then informed of the arrests and drove from Nyamapanda in the company of Shamba in a bid to bribe the police officers to release the foreign nationals.

The two were subsequently arrested upon arrival after they allegedly tried to offer a $1 200 bribe to police officers.

Alois Midzi and Lee Gada represented the State.

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  1. Aramaic….I think you mean Amharic.
    Ignorance about Ethiopia is widespread.

    1. mean knowing english ignorance ? mr frank

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