FRANCISTOWN: Magistrate Game Mooketsi has decried that cases of illegal gold mining especially those involving foreigners from Zimbabwe are overwhelming the courts.
Mooketsi said this when sentencing Thabani Sibanda, a 26-year-old Zimbabwean man on Tuesday.
Sibanda was arrested on 9th January,2023 at or near Matsiloje village whilst unlawfully mining gold.
He had previously pleaded guilty to illegal gold mining and entering Botswana through an ungazetted point of entry.
“Of late, our courts have been inundated by cases of illegal mining that are perpetrated by foreigners from Zimbabwe. Society expects the courts to send people who commit crimes to jail. Society also looks upon the courts to protect it from people who violate the law... In mitigation, the accused told the court that he was the breadwinner for his family. However, the courts are called upon to send people who violate the law to prison to show the public's abhorrence to such acts. The accused is fined P3,000 for entering Botswana illegally or in default of payment he shall serve a period of three years in jail. The accused is also fined P1,000 for unlawfully mining gold or in default of payment, he shall serve a period of three months in jail. These sentences shall run concurrently,” said Mooketsi.