It is that time again illegal immigrants from the Horn of Africa take advantage of rains and thickening forests to turn Malawi into a freeway on their perilous treks to South Africa and beyond.
On Monday, immigration officials in Mzimba intercepted 63 Ethiopians with no travel documents who were spotted hiding in a thick bush in Kafukule by a traditional leader.
The group, comprising visibly thirsty and famished young men aged between 16 and 30, was handed over to the Northern Region Immigration Offices on Wednesday afternoon.
In a related development, continued spot-checks and patrols by the Immigration Department have resulted into the arrest and subsequent conviction of seven foreigners for contravening Immigration laws and illegal entry.
Immigration Department public relations officer Martha Gonondo said Chinese national, Ji Yunlong, 20, was fined K10 000(US$22) for contravening Immigration Permit conditions which is contrary to Section 37(b) of the Immigration Act.
She said Zimbabweans Lavender Manhoko, 24, Patson Moyo and Enock Mvundula Mvula were each fined K15 000 (US$33) for illegal entry while Betisheba Alick, 20, a Malawian, was fined K10 000 for false declaration on a Malawi passport application.
Gonondo also said Nawazish Ali, 33, a Pakistani, was fined K15 000 for contravening Immigration permit conditions while Haider Usman, 23, also a Pakistani, was fined K15 000 for obtaining a certificate by false pretence.