Court convicts 47-year-old Zambian truck driver for aiding, abetting 13 undocumented immigrants


A 47-year-old Zambian truck driver, Victor Matabula, has been convicted for aiding and abetting 13 undocumented Ethiopians and two Somali immigrants.

Department of Immigration Public Relations Officer, Namati Nshinka, said Matabula was sentenced on May, 8, 2024 by the Nakonde Magistrate Court.

Nshinka in a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday said Matabula was sentenced to pay a fine of K60,000 or nine months simple imprisonment.

“He was arrested on April, 30, 2024 after the Nakonde Immigration Office found 15 undocumented immigrants concealed in the trailer of a Lusaka-bound, rice-laden Volvo truck he was driving,” he said.

Nshinka stated that the officers intercepted the truck belonging to Time Trucking Limited at a roadblock mounted following a tip-off from an alert member of the public.

He said the Court further ruled that the Volvo truck registration number BAL 7337 and trailer registration number BAL 5508 be forfeited to the State if the owner fails to make a compelling claim within 90 days.

“Meanwhile, five of the 15 undocumented immigrants whom Matabula aided and abetted also appeared before the Magistrate Court on the same day,” Nshinka said.

He added that this was for failing to appear before the nearest Immigration Officer on entry and were each sentenced to pay a fine of K 5,000 or nine months simple imprisonment.

Nshinka said a similar punishment was meted on the first ten who were convicted on May 7, 2024.

“The Mpika Immigration Office on May, 8, 2024 secured the conviction of a 19-year-old male Ugandan Allawi Ssebitosi for failing to appear before the nearest Immigration Officer when entering the country,” he added

Nshinka said Ssebitosi was sentenced to pay a fine of K30,000 or nine months simple imprisonment.

Read More: 50 suspected illegal immigrants, two Zambian traffickers arrested by Immigration officials

He added that Ssebitosi was arrested on May 3, 2024 at the Mpika Checkpoint in a Lusaka-bound private vehicle after examination of his Ugandan Emergency Travel Document revealed it had no entry endorsement stamp for Nakonde Border Control.

“The Nakonde and Mpika court outcomes brought the number of convictions secured by the Department of Immigration on May 8, 2024 to 21.

Nshinka further revealed that the Department on May 8, 2024 apprehended 21 suspected illegal immigrants countrywide, removed five from the country and refused one foreign national entry for failing to meet entry requirements.

He said the department had noted with concern a worrying trend where motorists were aiding and abetting illegal immigrants.

“In this regard, we appeal to motor vehicle owners to closely monitor their vehicle movements and the users’ activities to ensure the vehicles are not being used for illegal activities,” Nshinka advised.

He said failure to do so may lead to loss of such vehicles to forfeiture by the State.

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