Four men who had planned to sneak to America aboard a ship have been handed a six-month sentence.

Senior Resident Magistrate Edgar Kagoni, who handed the sentence stated that the jail term will be a lesson to others who will attempt to become stowaways which endangers lives.

Mohamed Bwika, Stephen Malenya, Fredrick Gitari and Mnyika Maganga said they sneaked aboard a cargo ship hoping to get to America where they would look for jobs.

They told the court that life in Kenya had become hard and unbearable because there were no jobs. 

From left: Mnyika Maganga, Fredrick Gitari, Stephen Malenya and Mohamed Bwika at the Mombasa Court
From left: Mnyika Maganga, Fredrick Gitari, Stephen Malenya and Mohamed Bwika at the Mombasa Court

Lesson to others

Delivering his ruling, the magistrate said the youth must be encouraged to work hard and love their country instead of dreaming to migrate to the US for a good life.

It must be noted that you were risking your lives by hiding in the ship and in that manner you threatened the crew of the ship,” said Kagoni.

“I don’t encourage the conduct of such people around here who think they can hide in a ship and go wherever they want. So that others don’t do the same, they will go to jail for six months,” he added.

Stowaway cases

Stowaway Falls Out of Kenya Airways Plane
Stowaway Falls Out of Kenya Airways Plane

The sentencing comes barely a month after the body of a male stowaway fell off a Kenya Airways plane moments before it landed at London’s Heathrow Airport.

After the discovery of the body, which had no identification, the aircraft was inspected and a bag with food and clothes was discovered at the rear left landing gear.

In 2013, a passenger suspected to have secretly boarded a KQ flight from Bombay in India to Nairobi was found dead when the plane arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.