A MUREHWA dagga dealer, Godfrey Gonye, will rue the day he was caught farming the illicit drug after he was slapped with a 23-year jail term for possessing 253 kilogrammes of dagga.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Gonye (40) yesterday approached the High Court seeking bail pending appeal, but his application was dismissed by High Court judge Justice Ester Muremba.
Gonye was, on May 29 this year, slapped with an effective 19-year jail term by Murehwa regional magistrate Loice Mukunyadzi for selling the banned drug across the country.
“I have also considered that the accused (Gonye) was found in possession of 253 kilogrammes of dagga with a street value of $18 000 and had cultivated 324 plants of which 312 were 80cm tall while the others were 1,8m tall,” Mukunyadzi said.
“He honestly told the court that he has been dealing with dagga for a long time and he raised money to pay lobola for his wife from selling dagga. Accused is a master farmer in dagga and people would go and make some orders at his place.
“Dagga is a mind-bending and habit-forming drug. If you are to look closely, people who commit the most serious offences such as murder, rape and armed robbery would have taken the drug to gather courage.”
The magistrate further said the dagga Gonye was found in possession was of considerable potency and that his actions were to be viewed as posing a more serious threat to society.
“He openly told the court he was getting his customers from different places, which clearly shows that he was supplying dagga to various people. Some would come to buy the dagga for resale to other cities and this aggravates the offence,” Mukunyadzi said.
“The quantities for which the accused was convicted of are quite substantial and it will be improper for this court to treat him with kid gloves,” she added before slapping Gonye with a total of 23 years behind bars.