Ethiopians foot for 9 months to Zim

BULAWAYO - Twelve Ethiopian nationals on Tuesday made stunning revelations at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Courts that they had to trek for nine months from their country to Zimbabwe, seeking refuge.

Makoro Sinthayo, 20, Landabo Gezacho, 23, Marcos Fikiru, 24, Marcos Fikiru, 24, Aeshm Negesh, 27, Darrilo Teshale, 25, Getahum Demeke, 29, Desalegu Ethero, 26, Mekoro Sinthehyn, 24, Gobana Esheku, 25, Sedebo Simon, 26, Bosar Deigif, 27, and 22-year-old Dunago Desta were involved in an accident at the 28km peg along the Gweru-Bulawayo highway in transit to Bulawayo, where the police got the tip-off.

The group was arrested by officers from ZRP Nkulumane on December 4, when police were tipped off  by an anonymous caller, that a South African registered Toyota Quantum had dropped the Ethiopian nationals at 5847 in Emganwini suburb a day earlier.

In mitigation, the 12, who are in custody, are seeking asylum status, purporting their lives to be in danger.

Prosecutor Raymond Makaza told the court the accused did not possess travel documents and police sought assistance from Immigration, but all proved to be undocumented immigrants.

The illegal immigrants claimed social and political unrest in the region they come from prompted them to come to Zimbabwe, enduring a nine-month trek.

Bulawayo magistrate, Abednico Ndebele remanded the persons in custody to February 18 after the court failed to get an Ethiopian interpreter.

Comments (5)

Ethiopia is a mistry country. Flying into their air port, Addis Ababa, one would think that they are in a western capital airport hub, with 100s of brand New Billion $$ aircrafts parked all over, Brand New airport buildings, smart immigration officials. Infact everything is just out of African way of doing things. But Just take a 20 minute bus outside the airport hub and you will be greated by so much poverty stricken citizens of Ethiopia. My own thinking is Ethiopian Gvt is prioritizing its National Carrier at the expense of the general population.

ma 1 - 6 February 2014

First and foremost the names given are wrongly spelled: Fikiru should be Fikre (meaning love), Negesh (Negash), Gezacho(Gizachu), Sinthayo (sintayehu). There are indeed some parts of Ethiopia which have civil unrest sometimes due to differences in religious beliefs but its false that they were seeking refuge in Zimbabwe. My good guess is that these Ethiopians were on their way to South Africa where there is a significant Habesha population. Yes, Bole airport is a world class facility and Ethiopian airlines is Ethiopian's pride, wholly owned by the Government and serving more than 57 destinations in the world. The airline operates like a private company and is self-sustaining. I had the priviledge of living in Ethiopia for 5 years and the generality of the populace are poor but can afford a variety cheap food and fruits. There are dry regions which experience drought almost yearly (just like Chivi & Matabeleland) and there are also regions which receive high rainfall and evergreen (Jimma). I think the magistrate should be merciful and also discuss the release of the poor souls with their ambassador along Lanark rd in Belgravia.

Mutangi - 6 February 2014

ma1 u raised an impoirtant point but let me also run away from e case and also stimulate the fact that AU meetings are done annually in a country with such a state. i think its a cause for concern on the competency of African leaders caz if they cant include these humanitary issues in their agendas then surely ewea colonies of ourselves.

adriel - 6 February 2014


dofo - 6 February 2014

Ethiopia is endowed with natural beauty and resources, but not with good governance, civil and property rights. Many Ethiopians are forced to flee for economic and political reasons. Despite recent rise in GDP, the majority of the people are left out of the benefit, unless they are part of the ruling class or cronies of the regime. Ethiopia is a mystery, but some of the people feel like they are living in heel or in a rock or a hard place, so they are forced to leave for political and economic reasons. So please have mercy on these souls. Most Ethiopians are harmless, kind and generous people. Political oppression, worse economic deprivation, that is forcing Ethiopia to flee, as new phenomonen in the Ethiopian tradition. Ethnocentrism, coupled with a Marxist type economic system, where everything including land, Internet, banks etc owned by the regime is stifling economic oportunity for the people to make a living or to live in peace as religious and ethnic tenstions are mounting, usually fueled by the regime.

Dula - 7 February 2014

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