THE 34 Ethiopians, nabbed while hiding at a Macheke farm early this year, were last week sentenced to a month in jail each or alternatively pay a $100 fine each in a case where the trial was delayed over the non-availability of an Aramaic interpreter.
By Jairos Saunyama
Marondera magistrate Ignatius Mugova also ordered the deportation of the foreign nationals, arrested while en-route to South Africa.
The Ethiopians were arrested together with locals Oswell Machipisa (27), Anyway Ndowa (34) and Tendai Shamba (34), who are accused of transporting the illegal migrants from Nyamapanda Border Post.
The court heard that on January 29 this year, Machipisa and Ndowa ferried the illegal immigrants from Nyamapanda Border Post to Macheke, where they hid them in a bush at Monchera Farm.
Machipisa then left Ndowa guarding the foreign nationals, as he sought alternative transport to take them to Beitbridge.
The court heard that the 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 ferry the foreign nationals.
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 in exchange of freedom for the
Ethiopians.Courage Chakawa represented the State.