A Burundi national has been fined $20 000 for illegally entering Zimbabwe at a time when the country is on national lockdown.

Jackson Hatungimana (22) of Bujumbura was arrested on Saturday in Victoria Falls attempting to cross into Zambia en route to his country.

It was discovered that he illegally entered Zimbabwe through an undesignated point in Beitbridge from South Africa last Thursday.

Immigration officials also discovered that Hatungimana’s passport had a fake entry immigration stamp and had no visa as is expected in terms of immigration laws.

Hatungimana pleaded guilty to entering or remaining in Zimbabwe without a permit when he appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate Ms Lindiwe Maphosa yesterday.

The magistrate fined him $20 000 or four months in jail.

In addition, the court ordered that Hatungimana be deported to his country.

The Burundi national claimed he gave a taxi driver US$200 at Beitbridge border to help him get a visa and have his passport stamped and did not realise that the stamp was fake.

Prosecuting, Mrs Sithabile Daka-Mungombe said Hatungimana entered through an undesignated point in Beitbridge and travelled to Victoria Falls via Bulawayo using public transport.

“On the 6th of February at 11AM, the accused reported to an immigration officer at Victoria Falls border intending to cross into Zambia en route to Burundi. The immigration officer noticed that the stamp that was put on the passport was fake and the accused was supposed to have bought a visa for him to pass through Zimbabwe,” said Mrs Daka-Mungombe.

The court heard that upon inquiring, immigration officials discovered that Hatungimana had entered Zimbabwe from South Africa through Beitbridge border on February 4.

He was arrested on the spot.

Adapted from an article by Leonard Ncube – The Chronicle.

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