The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: SA-Based MDC-T Activist Steals Identity

Beitbridge Bureau — AN MDC-T activist escaped jail with a wholly suspended one-year term of imprisonment after he was convicted of trying to cross into South Africa using another person's passport. Wellington Makumbinde, a member of the MDC-T party's youth committee for mobilisation, is resident in South Africa.

He was intercepted at Beitbridge Border Post by alert police detectives from the Border Control Unit last week on Tuesday.

Makumbinde (29) was using a passport belonging to Brian Tazviwana. He illegally entered the country on February 1.

Makumbinde is also the programmes co-ordinator for the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, and doubles as the governance programme officer for Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA) in Cape Town.

Makumbinde was convicted on his own plea of guilt of contravening a section of the Immigration Act when he appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Miss Gloria Takundwa, who sentenced him to a one-year jail term, which was wholly suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

Asked why he was using somebody's passport, Makumbinde said he had used Tazviwona's passport because his had expired.

The passport in question was forfeited to the State as part of the sentence.

The agreed facts are that on February 5, Makumbinde arrived in Beitbridge en-route to South Africa.

He went to Beitbridge border post intending to exit the country to South Africa.

Along the way he was stopped by some detectives from the Border Control Unit who were on patrol.

They requested him to produce his travel documents and he in turn produced Tazviwona's passport, leading to his arrest.

Of late there has been an increase of people trying to leave or enter the country using stolen passports, which has prompted the authorities to intensify patrols at the Border Post.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.