ISLAMIC Supreme Council of Zambia president Suzyo Zimba and two Somalis have been arrested and charged with giving false information to an Immigration officer and aiding foreigners in a matter which violates their status.
Mr Zimba, 45, Egeh Hussein, 36, and Omar Mohamud were arrested following the conclusion of investigations in a case in which 11 Somalis were on April 16 this year intercepted at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and arrested by immigration officers. This is in a statement issued yesterday by the Department of Immigration public relations officer, Namati Nshinka. Mr Nshinka confirmed that Mr Zimba, Mr Hussein and Mr Mohamud have been jointly charged with 11 counts of giving false information to an Immigration officer and one count of aiding, abetting and assisting a foreigner.
It is alleged that the three, on unknown dates but between January 1 and May 21 this year, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown, procured immigration visas for 11 Somalis. The three allegedly purported that the 11 Somalis were visiting the country to attend an intercultural competence course at Kook College of International Studies. In the count of aiding, abetting and assisting, it is also alleged that Mr Zimba, Mr Hussein and Mr Mohamud aided 11 Somalis to enter the country on false pretences. Mr Nshinka said the three will appear in court soon. Mr Zimba has since been released on bond while Mr Hussein and Mr Mohamud are in custody. On May 28, the immigration department arrested nine of 11 Somalis who sneaked from a hotel in Lusaka.
The 11 Somalis left the hotel in suspicious circumstances after purportedly coming into the country for a workshop at the invitation of Kook College of International Studies in Makeni. The 11 Somalis, among them 10 men and one woman, reportedly entered the country on May 16 this year. Meanwhile, Mr Nshinka said the department in Chinsali is holding five Somalis, a Tanzanian and two Zambians in a suspected case of human trafficking.
He said the group was apprehended by police on May 8 this year and was handed to the Chinsali regional immigration office on June 10. “In other incidences, the Immigration department on June 6 apprehended 73 persons for various immigration offences countrywide. “Twenty-nine were for unlawful entry, 21 for unlawful presence, 18 for unlawful entry and presence and five for other immigration offences,” he said. Mr Nshinka said during the same period, the department also secured 17 convictions, removed 12 illegal immigrants from the country and refused entry to four foreign nationals for failure to meet entry requirements.