Zimbabwean authorities are investigating how 23 Malawians disappeared from a police station after they were arrested for jumping Beitbridge border post, according to reports.
The Chronicle online publication from Zimbabwe says the 23 Malawians were waiting to be transported to Harare pending their deportation back to Malawi.
They were on their way to South Africa.
Two of the immigrants tested positive for Covid-19.
The group comprises; Ousmane Austin (27), Yamaya Saidi (26), Sumati Jamali (18), Hake Idrasl (23), Hajira Joe (23), Edward Master (18), Fatima Mark (27), Musa James (27), Bernard Chimenya (25), Dennis Bwala (18), Gladys shucha (24), Enock Halwa (24), Juiro Ajalu (18), Frank Mayazi (28), Blessings Wiseman (21), and Witness Mdala (21).
Others include; Erison Lestah (24), Lejabo Mbewe (23), Fulani Witness (30), Adam Musa (22), Mark Musa (20), Madson Mwinjiro (37) and Matola Yusuf (19).
It is reported that two were busted by the police as they sought to illegally leave the country on Monday morning at around 4 AM.
The group had allegedly entered Zimbabwe illegally and were in transit to South Africa when they were arrested on a footpath near the old border post offices.
A security source said following their arrest they were charged for exit by evasion under the immigration act.
“They were taken to court, where they appeared before Miss Vavariro Nhau who warned, cautioned and released them to immigration authorities for further management.
After which, arrangements were made that they are kept at the main police station pending transportation to Harare. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) sponsored their transportation under the regional facility for stranded migrants,” said the source.
The official said when a Zupco bus arrived in Beitbridge on Thursday, it was discovered that all the migrants had absconded.
The police officer commanding Beitbridge, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo, and the Assistant Regional Immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge, Nqobile Ncube could not be reached for comment.
Last year two Malawian border jumpers who tested positive to Covid-19 escaped from isolation.
One of the escapees was intercepted by security agents as he sought transport to Malawi at the closed Dulivadzimu Long-distance Bus Terminus.
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