4 face charges of helping immigrants

BULAWAYO - Four Bulawayo men who assisted 12 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia with transport, food and accommodation have been granted bail.

Gabriel Murindagomo, 31, Nkosilathi Dube, 39, Bhekani Dliwayo, 31 and Nqobile Ndebele, 38 this week appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove facing charges of assisting any person to enter, remain or depart from Zimbabwe as defined in section 36 (1)(c) of the Immigration Act.

The quartet was not asked to plead and was remanded out of custody to December 17 on $100 bail each.

According to the State documents, on December 3 at 3pm, Murindagomo transported from Gweru, 12 Ethiopian nationals who did not have any travelling documents or permits and had unlawfully entered the country.

When they were at the 28km peg along the Gweru-Bulawayo road, they were involved in a road accident where only Murindagomo was reportedly injured and ferried to Gweru hospital.

The nature of the accident was not stated in the court.

However, the Ethiopians reportedly proceeded with the journey to Bulawayo where, as previously arranged, they were welcomed by Dhliwayo, Ndebele and Dube who then provided transport within the city.

The immigrants were later accommodated at house number 5847 in Emganwini high density suburb through the assistance of the three accused persons.

With only a day at the house, police officers from Nkulumane station received a tip off from members of the public to the effect that there were foreigners packed in one house in Emganwini suburb.

When police raided the house, the foreigners failed to produce the legal and valid travelling documents, leading to the arrest of the foreigners as well as the four “Good Samaritans.”

The foreigners who appeared in court last week were remanded in custody and are awaiting their fate.

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