THREE Ugandan men told a Victoria Falls court that they were tricked by a conman who influenced them to give him their money, claiming Ugandans were not allowed in Zimbabwe.
The Ugandans had wanted to enter Zimbabwe from Zambia, but they claimed they were told they were not allowed and should instead use a bushy area and pay R800 each to facilitate their entry.
Lugolobi Kweyi Rogers (24), Mabirizi Nicholas (20) and Mugerwa Asudu (35) pleaded guilty to charges of entering the country through an undesignated area when they appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate Sharon Rosemani yesterday.
The three were arrested while boarding Extra City bus to Bulawayo.
“I was going to sell my goods in Bulawayo and we were tricked by a taxi driver who told us that Ugandans were not allowed at the border so we had to pay him R800 each,” Rogers said.
Nicholas said he was a first-year student at Kampala University and he was visiting a friend in Bulawayo, where he intended to spend two weeks.
“I gave the R800 and my Blackberry cellphone to the taxi driver,” he said.
Asudu told court that he was going to sell clothes. Rogers and Nicholas were sentenced to pay $20 each or two weeks in prison, while Asudu was to pay $30 or three weeks behind bars. The three were deported.
Prosecutor Takunda Ndovorwi told the court that on February 13, the three came into the country from Zambia through the bush.
The police got a tip-off that the three were on their way to the bus rank, leading to their arrest as they were boarding Extra City bus to Bulawayo. They had passports stamped in Zambia, but not from the Zimbabwean side.