GWANDA: 13 Ethiopians, among them a 15-year-old boy, broke down in tears at the local magistrates courts Wednesday, saying they were hungry following their arrest for illegally entering Zimbabwe.
The drama started when the court interpreter sought permission from magistrate, Maphios Moyo, to have one of the accused persons, Thamitat Hawado Hankore, who understands English, interpret proceedings in Amarina to his colleagues.
As the charge was being read out, two of the Ethiopians started crying and when the magistrate sought to find out the problem they said they were hungry. Others then joined in the wailing as they were remanded in custody to the 30th of this month.
Prison officials had a torrid time consoling the Ethiopians, explaining to them there was enough food for them in the cells.
Allegations against the Ethiopians are that on Tuesday this week, at around 3am, they were stopped at a roadblock in Filabusi whilst in transit and being transported by two Zimbabweans, Edmore Murimbika and Leon Tom, in a Toyota Granvia.
Apart from Hankore, who had an unendorsed passport, the other twelve did not have passports or permits allowing them to stay in Zimbabwe, leading to their arrest.
The others are Amanul Abe Ushebo (15), Heiwot Dameke Helore (17) Dawe Eresano Sasi and Adino Abainu Erisano both aged 20, Abera Zalake Girema (22) Erimeyas Tasfay Moloro, Fichgo Erusulo Bunetas and Salamu Ashebo Mikore all aged 23, Tadele Detamo Sadamo and Tsagaye Habtamu Shucaro both aged 24 and Bakela Mekore Libayo and Tarekas Dahala Sadoro both aged 25.
Murimbika and Tom appeared separately charged with assisting the Ethiopians to remain and travel through Zimbabwe without permits. The two were remanded in custody to Thursday for plea recordings.