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Remorseful Burundians to be repatriated 

Berahino Vital and Nimlona Eduard from Burundi who were charged with being in Kenya illegally and will be repatriated to their country.
 Photo by Lydia Shiroya

A Kiambu court has ordered two Burundians to be repatriated to their country after they pleaded for leniency for being in Kenya unlawfully.

Berahino Vital and Nimlona Eduard had jointly been charged that on March 31, 2017 at Kirigiti area in Kiambu County, they were found unlawfully present in Kenya contrary to section 13(2) of the immigration ACT CAP 192 of the laws of Kenya.

They appeared before Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate Ms. Stella Atambo and pleaded guilty to the charge.

In their mitigation, they pleaded with the court for leniency saying they had come to look for jobs after they escaped the post-election violence in their country following the disputed presidential election of President Pierre Nkurunzinza.

“We thought we could find jobs so that we could support our families back home,” they told the magistrate. “Please forgive us as we have children to take care of and allow us to return to our country,” they pleaded.

Prosecuting, State Counsel Ms. Diana Awino told the court that prior to their arrest; a meeting had been held at the deputy county commissioner’s office during which members of the security team expressed concern at the increase on the number of foreigners in the sub-county.

It was then decided that the DCIO steps up patrol in the affected area. On the night of March 31, five foreigners from Burundi were arrested in Jambo Hotel and taken to Kiambu police station.

While at the station, the court heard, that an unknown person delivered some documents at the report office to the officer who was on duty.

The court heard that the papers were travel documents of the five suspects and when they were verified at the immigration offices in Nyayo house, papers for three were found to be valid but visa for the duo had expired.

They were arrested and arraigned in court for being in Kenya illegally.

While empathizing with the accused, the magistrate said the duo appeared to be vulnerable in the aftermath of the civil war in Burundi.

She ordered their repatriation to Burundi and asked them to renew their visas if they were interested in returning to Kenya.

“If you return without proper documents, you will be arrested and the courts will not hesitate to give you a custodial sentence because the prosecution will go for previous records that will show that you had been charged before,” she told the accused.

By Lydia Shiroya

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