Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 17 August 2014

HUMAN TRAFFIC TRADE ROCKS MALABA BOARDER



A total of 29 Burundi citizens were arrested at Malaba border after sneaking into the country illegally.
Investigations by your favourite Weekly Citizen have established that the aliens comprising of eight adults and 21 children were intercepted by security officers following a tip-off from members of the public.
It was further stated that the aliens who are members of six families had already boarded a matatu vehicle at Malaba bus stage and were heading to Bungoma town where they were eneoute to Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana county when they were apprehended.
The citizens were taken to Malaba immigration offices at the customs yard where the eight adults were whisked into the office to be interrogated.
A young man who could speak fluent Swahili, Apollinaire Niyokuizera, said that they took off from Burundi because they were being harassed by army officers for allegedly not supporting the government of the day.
“People who are not supporting the government of Burundi are being harassed and killed by military officers, that is why we ran away,”  Niyokuizera told the press.
Weekly Citizen learnt that the Burundi citizens were sneaked into the country through unauthorised routes because they feared to be arrested by security officers at the customs entry point.
He said that they were ready to die in Kenya rather than going back to Burundi because of the sufferings which they had undergone before coming to Kenya.
The young man appealed to the Kenya government to award them refugee status instead of repatriating them back to Burundi because they will be killed by military officers.
Removal of the only roadblock at Malaba border last year has paved way for smuggling of different items from neighbouring countries at night without any fear by unscrupulous businessmen.
Reliable sources said that even small firearms can easily get their way into the country unlike previous years when there was a roadblock being manned by security officer’s 24-hours.
“It is true that a lot of smuggling is taking place at this border at night from the time when the roadblock was removed last year,” one clearing agent said on condition of anonymity fearing victimisation.
Weekly Citizen further established that there is a syndicate of human trafficking at the Kenya-Uganda common border where some young men are engaged in the trade.
Sources further revealed that a group of some Kenyans and Ugandans are paid between Sh1,000 to Sh3,000 to smuggle aliens from Ugandan side of the border to Kenyan side.
The syndicate usually takes place during the day and at night without the knowledge of immigration and security officers manning the border but the matter surfaced when several aliens from Southern Sudan were arrested in Bungoma while planning to sneak to Kakuma Refugee Camp when they were returned to immigration offices.
Those also involved in the syndicate are motorbike operators who are also paid handsomely to ferry aliens using panya routes to the main Malaba-Bungoma highway to take matatu vehicles to Bungoma town on their way to Kakuma Refugee Camp.