The Dowa First Grade Magistrate ha found 71 Ethiopian nationals guilty of illegal entry and have been sentenced to pay a fine of k5,000.00 each and three months in jail with hard labour.
The illegal lags were answering the offence of entering the country Illegal in which they all admitted the charge.
Magistrate Amulani Phiri also said after serving their sentence, they will be deported.
The court heard that on January 1, the police who were conducting sweeping exercise received a tip that some Ethiopian nationals entered the country illegally and they were on their way to Dzaleka refugee camp.
Police prosecutors Inspectors Ivy Sangwa and Sergeant Aggines Mphinga said the accused were arrested when the police had put an adhock road broke at Mbalame village along Dowa Lumbazi road.
Sangwa told the court to impose a stiff sentence because they could have brought in some deseases like Ebola.
In passing the sentence, Phiri agreed with the prosecutors and imposed a custodial sentence.
The Magistrate also issued removal directions, saying Immigration department should deport them after serving their sentence.