Four Ethiopians charged with illegal stay in Kenya

Thursday January 7 2016

Some of the 80 Ethiopians arrested in Kangeta, Meru County on August 18, 2015. Four of five Ethiopians arrested on Wednesday, January 6, 2015 were on Thursday charged with being in the country illegally.   PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some of the 80 Ethiopians arrested in Kangeta, Meru County on August 18, 2015. Four of five Ethiopians arrested on Wednesday, January 6, 2015 were on Thursday charged with being in the country illegally. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KEN BETT
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Four of five Ethiopians were on Thursday charged with being in the country illegally.

Miwku Tadious Giantamo, Tatrakany Tirifaso Abuko, Wandimo Araso Hachire and Deserian Araso Hachire pleaded guilty to the charge with the help of an interpreter.

They were each fined Sh10,000 or in default to serve one month imprisonment for entering the country without valid documents.

Marsabit Senior Resident Magistrate Boaz Ombewa ruled that a fifth suspect, Melese Tilaun Dentamo, be registered with the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) after he told the court that he was fleeing from conflicts in Oromo region in Ethiopia.

The accused were arrested on Wednesday at Manyatta Daba in Marsabit County.

Mr Ombewa further ordered the accused persons be deported upon paying fine or serving their jail terms.

The prosecution, led by Musa Bashir, told the court the suspects were arrested by police officers following a tip-off from members of the public.

They were hiding under a bridge when police seized them. They could neither speak English or Kiswahili nor did they possess any valid identification documents.

In mitigation, the four accused told the court they wanted to be taken back to their country or be allowed to proceed to Nairobi to search for jobs.