Ethiopians weep in court and beg for leniency
A group of 40 Ethiopian nationals charged with being in Kenya illegally broke down and cried uncontrollably in court on Thursday after a magistrate ordered for their repatriation upon completing a one month jail term or pay a collective fine of Sh800,000 imposed on them.
“Please have mercy on us. We are jobless and poor. We leave in abject poverty,” the foreigners spoke loudly then “ sat down and begun to cry after the magistrate imposed the sentence.”
Forty of the 67 who were accused of flouting the immigration rules pleaded guilty to a charge of being in the country unlawfully. Each was fined Sh20,000 or serve one month in jail.
The convicts in their mid twenties had happily admitted that they were on transit to South Africa.
“ They were going to South Africa in search of greener pastures and secure employment in the gold mines,” the magistrate heard.
A state prosecutor Mr Solomon Naulikha told senior principal magistrate Martha Mutuku that “ the 67 were arrested from a house in Mihang’o Kayole sub-county within Nairobi while attempting to leave the country through unfamiliar routes.”
Mr Naulikha said police were led to the house where the accused were residing by another Ethiopian national who had been arrested.
The court heard that Mr Warqo Dawe Walde led detectives to the house where the suspects were residing.
Upon being interrogated they did not valid documents permitting them to be in the country.
The young men were arrested and detained at Buruburu, Kasarani and Gigiri Police Stations for interrogation.
Twenty seven of the 67 denied the charge of being in Kenya illegally saying their “passports, visas and a colossal sum of money was taken away by police officers who arrested them.,”
Ms Mutuku directed that the 27 be remanded at Gigiri police station until September 21 when their trial will be undertaken.