DRC couple pleads for jail term than deportation

A DEMOCRATIC Republic of Congo couple, arrested for entering Zimbabwe illegally, broke down in tears on Wednesday and pleaded to be sent to jail rather than be deported back to their war-torn country.

BY Nokuthaba Dlamini

Kasambule Ebondo (40) and his wife Mumba Kayeye Hortense (32) made the passionate plea on Wednesday after Victoria Falls magistrate Rangarirai Gakanje ordered that they be deported for contravening the country’s immigration laws.

The couple and their eight minor children, had sneaked into the country through the Victoria Falls border post on February 2, aboard a truck from Lubumbashi.

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Prosecutor Listen Nare told the court that the Congolese were later spotted by police officers on patrol at Chinotimba bus terminus, where they revealed that they were from Congo and they did not have travel documents.

“We came using the Zambian side. We heard that the country (Zimbabwe) was peaceful and that is why we decided to flee to this country because where we come from there are serious political disputes and many people are killed daily,” Ebondo said. “We are afraid for our lives and children because recently our relative was killed. The country will soon be having elections and people are shot to death daily and some killed with axes.”

Gakanje slapped the couple with a wholly suspended four month prison-term and ordered their immediate deportation.

The couple broke down into tears begging the courts to imprison them than send them back home, but the magistrate insisted that it was unlawful for them to remain in Zimbabwe.

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