Somalilandsun – The magistrates’ court in Kabwe has committed 92 Somalians to the High Court for sentencing after they pleaded guilty to the offence of consenting to being smuggled into Zambia.
Another court discharged eight Somali juvenile offenders who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of consenting to being smuggled and failure to appear before the nearest Immigration office upon entering Zambia, contrary to the Immigration and Deportation Act.
The 92, who appeared before magistrate Chimuka Mutafela and filled the court room to capacity, pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted the charge read to them but sentencing could not be passed because the charge carried a 15-year jail sentence which could only be meted by the High Court.
The convicts on August 31, this year consented to being smuggled contrary to the law.
An Immigration department prosecutor told the court that the convicts were travelling in a Scania truck registration number ACZ 5219 which was impounded at Pensulo Police checkpoint in Serenje District after police discovered that it was carrying foreign nationals whose travelling documents were not clear.
The 92 appeared before magistrate Mutafela while the juvenile offenders were before magistrate Maxwell Shiwanga.
The juveniles were discharged following a report by the social welfare and after seeing that the offenders were minors, the court ordered that they be discharged and sent to their home country but warned them against engaging in such acts. Meanwhile, two Zambians who were charged for aiding the Somalians are expected to appear in court this week.
By SYLVIA MWEETWA / Times of Zambia