Child smugglers fined

Christinah Motlhabane
FREE AT LAST: Anyhwere, Trust and Ncube

Lady luck smiled on three Zimbabweans as they were released after 52 days in custody, each fined P10,000 for smuggling a young girl into Botswana.

Trust Cherigo, 40, Anywhere Cherigo, 38, and Watson Milidzani Ncube, 33, were fined P10,000 each last Thursday for a single count of smuggling persons. Failure to pay would result in a two-year jail term. Eager to return home, they promptly paid their fines.

Before sentencing, Anywhere appealed for leniency, highlighting her responsibilities as a caregiver for her children and the victim. “Since my incarceration, I worry about how my children, including the victim, are coping without me. I have also lost my job due to my prolonged absence,” she lamented.

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Trust and Ncube expressed remorse, asserting that it was their first brush with the law and vowing not to repeat their mistake.

The trio was apprehended on February 1st and 2nd for smuggling a 12-year-old child into Botswana. The victim, Trust’s daughter, was visiting her father to purchase clothing.

Anywhere, the victim’s aunt residing in Harare, sent Ncube money to ensure the child’s safe passage to Botswana. Without a passport, the child endured hours of walking in scorching heat and dense bushes to illegally cross the border.

Their scheme unraveled when Ncube and the child boarded a combi at Ramokwebana. Upon reaching Bissoli veterinary gate, patrolling police officers noticed the weary and hungry child. Questioning revealed the child had been smuggled into the country.

Ncube, acting as her guardian, was arrested, followed by the Cherigos the next day. Throughout their ordeal, the trio expressed remorse and pleaded guilty.

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