MUTARE – Mozambique has deported 23 Zimbabweans apprehended for entering the country without valid documentation.
The all-male deportees, the oldest of which is 34, jammed a court here when they appeared before magistrate Sekai Chiundura.
They all pleaded guilty to unlawfully exiting the country without valid travel documents.
Holding hands, the 23 completely blocked the gallery’s view of the magistrate as they lined up across the court room.
They were remanded in custody for sentencing.
Prosecuting, Donald Mudadirwa alleged that the 23 crossed the porous Zimbabwe-Mozambique border through illegal crossing points at unknown dates.
The 23 were apprehended in Mozambique and handed over to Zimbabwe immigration officials at Forbes Border Post who interviewed them, establishing that they had no relevant travel documents allowing them to exit the country, the State alleged.
They contravened section 24 (1) of the Immigration Act Chapter 4:02 which criminalises exiting the country at “any place other than a port of exit.”
According to an affidavit written by Eastern region principal immigration officer, Tapuwanashe Chipura, they were deported from Mozambique on March 17 at 1100 hours.
The principal immigration officer noted that they were arrested for illegally staying in Mozambique.