Rumphi First Grade Magistrate Court has ordered the deportation of 22 illegal immigrants believed to be Ethiopian nationals who were arrested at Ntchenachena Trading Centre in the district for entering into the country without relevant travel documents.
Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri said he had recommended the repatriation of the aliens back to their home country saying it would be costly to keep them in the country as they await trial and that it might take time to find an interpreter for them in court proceedings.
“It will be costly for Malawi Government to continue keeping these people as the state will have to feed them.
“I therefore recommend that the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security starts the process of deporting these people to their home country,” said Magistrate Phiri.
Earlier, Police Prosecutor, Inspector Michael Paulino told the court that they had failed to come up with a relevant charge against the aliens which is entering a country without proper travel documents because of communication breakdown between police officers and the suspects.
“We have been unable to charge them because none of these people speak English and they cannot understand the charges we would have levelled against them due to language barrier,” Inspector Michael Paulino said.
We tried to seek interpretation services from some foreign nationals living in the district who are from close to this East African Country, but they failed to communicate with these aliens,” explained Paulino.
The presiding magistrate asked the state if they had made any effort to contact Ethiopian Embassy to provide an interpreter for the court proceedings but the state said they had not.