Drama As 6 Foreigners Go On Hunger Strike In Harare Prison

Six foreigners arrested by the Immigration Department on allegations of staying in the country illegally have gone on a “hunger strike” at the Harare Central Remand Prison demanding their release or to be deported to their respective countries.

Some of them accused immigration officials of demanding bribes to facilitate their release although their cases have not been heard in the courts. The detainees narrated their ordeal to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Deputy Commissioner-General Dr Alford Mashange Dube who yesterday visited them after they were admitted to the prison hospital. He reportedly promised to address their grievances.

“When they (immigration officials) first arrested me, they demanded $5 000 cash so that they would release me. I did not have enough cash since my wife had just passed on. I only had about $1 650 which I offered them and they took it, insisting they would come back for the balance,” said Charles Oforma (47) from Nigeria who used to run a motor spares shop in Harare and has been in remand since 2015.

Ayele Derilo from Ethiopia, who has been in custody for five years, alleged that when he was arrested in Mutare, the officials asked him if he had any cash. Because he did not have any cash, they arrested him, he alleged.- state media

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