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Judicial CP - August 2008

Corpun file 20536


The Voice, Francistown, c.23 August 2008

Whipped and Deported

By Francinah Baaitse

Two illegal immigrants were whacked on bare buttocks by a Molepolole customary court on Tuesday. The Zimbabwean men, Benjamin Zindowe, 31, and Ernest Chimisasa, 24, received three strokes before they were handed over to the immigration department for deportation.

Zindowe received the strokes following another whipping the previous day for a different offence. He was nabbed by the police for buying stolen goods.  It surfaced that he had been staying in the country illegally. Although Kgosi Mogae Mhaladi said the man should be taken to hospital first before another whacking he ended up receiving the strokes anyway.

Ernest was reported to the police by his fellow countrymen following a conflict on Monday. He failed to submit the passport, which he said was with his friend who was also staying in the country without proper documents. Efforts by both the police and Ernest to ask the man to surrender the passport at the nearest police station via his mobile phone hit a blank as the man feared it was a ploy by the police to nab him.

Ernest, who maintained that his only offence was overstaying, hoped for a lesser fine, but the court ruled differently as there was no proof to that regard. "There is no proof that you have a passport and you are charged with entering the country and staying here illegally. You are, therefore, fined three strokes and you will be sent home through the immigration," Mhaladi said. Mhaladi noted that illegal immigration by Zimbabwean nationals has become a concern in the Kweneng District and that the Botswana government is spending a lot of money deporting them.

The two men told the court that back home they are faced with hardships and that they have to feed many mouths. They also pleaded with the court for fewer strokes but Mhaladi reminded them that the whip would be a reminder to them whenever they think of illegal migration to Botswana.

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