Lupane police in mbanje blitz

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Police in Lupane last week arrested seven villagers following a blitz on mbanje growers in the area.

The seven were arrested between April 3 and 9 in separate incidents in connection with cultivation and possession of mbanje.

The villagers appeared before Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba on Monday and they all pleaded guilty to the charge of possessing and growing the drug.

The arrests followed reports by members of the public that there was rampant abuse of the drug in the area.

Thandani Mpofu (30) of Jumbika village, Stanford Nkiwane (50) of Mthuphane village, Johanes Ncube (38) and Benson Nkomo (29) of Shashe village, Jeffrey Ndlovu (35) of Mathambo village 24, Sanders Mpofu (45) and Clement Ncube (40) of Jumbika, were arrested in separate incidents during the blitz.

Thandani Mpofu, Clement Ncube and Sanders Mpofu were convicted and remanded out of custody to April 13 for sentence.

Nkiwane was sentenced to 30 days in jail with an option of $50 fine after he was found with five grammes of mbanje.

Johanes Ncube was sentenced to 30 days in jail with an option of $70 fine after being found with one plant of the illicit drug.

Ndlovu and Nkomo were sentenced to two months in jail with an option of $100 fine each.

The seven told the court that they possessed the drug for smoking and were not selling it.

Sanders Sibanda represented the state.