Nine Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) nationals last week Friday appeared before the courts for illegally entering into Zimbabwe.

They were arrested by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) detectives and immigration officers on the 17th of November .Chinhoyi magistrate Ms Tamari Chibindi ordered the nine to pay $2 500 or face a 10-day jail term when they appeared before her charged with contravening the Immigration Act.

The nine were identified as Kikala Kimvula Elvis, Aminata Nyota, Ikra Masara, Bolodjwa Eale, Moise Lama, Christina Bilonda Tshiani, Widi Dimbi, Makanzu and Nangana Magani.

Prosecutor Tendai Tapi told the court that the nine entered Zimbabwe without permits or passports from the DRC through the Chirundu One-Stop Border Post on November 16.

They never presented themselves to immigration officials.

They were arrested at around 3 pm after detectives received a tip-off to the effect that a Harare-bound bus was carrying illegal immigrants.

The bus was intercepted at the 122km peg along Chirundu-Harare highway, leading to the arrest of the nine.

Zimbabwe Voice reports that a warrant of detention was issued by the Immigration Department.

This is not the first time Congolese nationals have been caught violating immigration laws.

In May this year, a Congolese national, Tshitshi Tshiswaka (38) of Kasai province, was arrested in Zimbabwe after trying to use a fake passport at the exit point in Victoria Falls to cross into Zambia en route to his country.

He had already used the fake passport to gain entry into Zimbabwe when he was travelling from South Africa through the Beitbridge border post.