Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Monday ordered Cameroonian Enerst Bahti, 35, to pay K1 225 000 for illegal entry, fraudulently attempting to obtain a Malawi Passport and forgery.
Bahti was fined K25 000, K200 000 and K1 million for each of the three offences respectively.
State prosecutor Paul Lada told the court that Bahti entered Malawi illegally on October 25 with one of his truck drivers using uncharted routes.
“Bahti obtained a Malawian identification number NHDHODZ8 from Mzuzu National Registration Bureau on the 27th October under the alias Yohane Chisi of John Chisi Village, Traditional Authority M’Mbelwa, Mzimba, a resident of Zolozolo Township in Mzuzu,” he said.
Lada explained that Bahti was arrested at Regional Immigration Office North where he was attempting to procure a Malawian Passport on 28th October, 2021.
“It was discovered that he couldn’t speak or understand vernacular languages nor could he convince the immigration officers that he is a Malawian,” he said.
Bahti was convicted following his guilt plea.
Lada pleaded to the court to consider a stiffer punishment, saying illegal entry is a very serious security threat to the country.
In mitigation, the Cameroonian pleaded for leniency saying he was a first offender, has two wives and eight children and owns a transport company that employs 35 Malawians.
In his ruling, Senior Resident Magistrate Abdul Maulidi fined him K1 225 000 or in default serve a six-month jail term with hard labour for each offence and that the sentences would run concurrently and be deported upon his release.
Bahti was charged with illegal entry contrary to Section 21 (1) as read with Section 37 (d) of the Immigration Act, false declaration for a passport contrary to Section 327 of the Penal Code, and forgery, which is contrary to Section 43(a) of the National Registration Act.