Seven Burundian Nationals convicted of being in the country illegally were slapped with a total fine of sh 350,000 or face a six month jail term.
Incoming Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate (SPM) Ms. Teresa Nyangena imposed a 50,000 shillings on each one of the foreigners in default to serve 6 months imprisonment. The 6 middle aged women and a man were convicted on their own plea.
On completion of their jail term, the court ordered that they be repatriated to their homes in Burundi.
Nduwimana Sakina, Sahiwacu Chantine, Nibizi Carne, Nshimirimana Claudine, Mvyukusenge Frangoise,Nijimbere Pascasie and Habonimana Canut who was the only man were arraigned in court and charged that on the 19th April 2019 at Kathpat area in Kiambaa sub-county within Kiambu County, being Burundi citizens were unlawfully present in Kenya.
Senior State Counsel Ms. Christine Mbevi for the prosecution told the court that on the material day, police officers from Karuri police station received information from the public that there were some people who were suspected to be foreigners in Kathpat village.
When they proceeded to the said home, they found them staying in a one room of an unfinished house.
Upon interrogation, the accused confirmed that they were foreigners and that they had come into the country to seek employment. Further, a search was conducted on them and the premises and officers found that they had no travel documents in their possession.
In mitigation, they pleaded with the court to exercise leniency on them saying they were ready to return to their country if released.
Prior to their plea taking, they had told the court that they could communicate in their mother tongue of Kirundi and their file was place aside for purposes of seeking for an interpreter. When the file was mentioned for fixing of the hearing date, through the intervention of the prosecutor, they pleaded guilty to the charge but explained that they were not very fluent in Kiswahili language though they understood the proceedings.
Late last month three women namely Lydia Wairimu Maina, Susan Nyambura Nga’nga and Mercy Kaare appeared before Kiambu senior Principal Magistrate Ms.Stella Atambo charged with trafficking by harboring 25 Burundi Nationals on 27th March this year at Kwakairu area in Juja sub-county within Kiambu County.
The trio faced an alternative charge that on diverse dates between the month of January and March 2019 at Kwakairu in Juja sub-county area within Kiambu County, jointly with others not before court confiscated travel documents namely passports for 25 Burundian Nationals in furtherance of trafficking in persons contrary to section 8(a) of the counter trafficking in persons ACT No.8 of 2010.
The case is pending before court and the accused were released on bond after they pleaded not guilty. The case was given a special hearing date so as to enable the victims to be repatriated to Burundi but ordered 4 to remain behind for purposes of testifying as prosecution witnesses.
By Lydia Shiroya