Two Zimbabwean border jumpers will spend the next year of their young lives in a Botswana prison after being caught in the country illegally.
The duo, Given Sibanda, 22, and Mfowabo Nkomo aged 21, appeared before Francistown Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning, where they quickly admitted to being illegal immigrants.
It was heard that the Matebeleland natives snuck into the country back in April last year near Maitengwe village.
The police initially pounced on the pair at Monarch Phase 6 last Thursday, suspecting they were involved in stock theft.
Upon questioning, it quickly became apparent neither Sibanda nor Nkomo had the necessary legal documentation to be staying in Botswana.
Begging to be spared jail and sent back home instead, Sibanda pleaded ignorance, telling court, “I am asking for court’s leniency when sentencing me because I have a child in Zimbabwe I am taking care of. And I did not know that I was entering the country illegally as I came with my friends.”
Similarly, Nkomo revealed he was fending for a little one in Zim, who he sends money to every month.
The sob story ended in tears, however, with Magistrate, Tshepo Magetse slapping both men with 36-month jail sentences.
“The 24 months will be set aside and the accused are to spend 12 months in prison backdated to the time they were arrested,” he ruled.
Meanwhile, there was no mention made of the stock theft accusations that originally landed the duo on the cops’ radar.