Caning Sentence: 8 Zim border jumpers bashed at chief’s court for illegally crossing into Botswana

File pic: Chief's court

8 Zimbabwean migrants caned after illegal entry into Botswana

Eight Zimbabwean men faced corporal punishment this month after illegally crossing into Botswana, authorities said. The migrants – identified as Professor Phiri, Givemore Mpofu, Ayanda Phiri, Michael Sihumbe, Lovemore Moyo, Khumbulani Ndlovu, Muthandazo Ndlovu, and Clever Chuma – entered Botswana without documentation between September 5-7.

The men were apprehended by Botswana police in various locations, including Tachila Farm. They were subsequently brought before Chief Kgosi Ganni Moses of the Phase IV Customary Court in Francistown. All eight pleaded guilty to the charges.

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As the primary breadwinners for their families back in Zimbabwe, the men appealed to Chief Moses for leniency rather than imprisonment. However, illegal entry is a serious offense under Botswana law, punishable by lengthy jail terms.

Due to the migrants’ status as first-time offenders, Chief Moses decided caning would be administered as an alternative sentence. Local reports state he oversaw the corporal punishment himself at the customary court.

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Economic hardships have pushed many Zimbabweans to risk border crossings in search of work across the border in more prosperous and stable countries like Botswana and South Africa in recent years. While authorities work to uphold immigration laws, the ongoing challenges in Zimbabwe mean such cases may continue, highlighting broader regional issues.

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