A drug dealer who was sentenced to 15 months in jail after he was arrested for possession of 3,925 kg of dagga worth $3 925 had his appeal thrown out after a full hearing by the High Court in Bulawayo.
by STAFF REPORTER
Richard Magwenzi (34) was convicted of possession of dagga and possession of unregistered drugs on his own plea of guilty sometime in February last year and he was sentenced to 15 months in jail.
In sentencing him, Western Commonage magistrate Tancy Dube ruled that it was clear from the evidence that Magwenzi was a drug dealer and he deserved a more severe punishment so that he reforms.
Dissatisfied with the sentence and through his lawyer Dumisani Dube, he filed an appeal at the Bulawayo High Court arguing that the trial magistrate in the matter misdirected himself by giving him a harsh sentence.
In his appeal, he said the court erred in fact and in law by sentencing him to 15 months in prison when a fine would have met the justice of the case. He prayed for the court to set aside and replace the sentence with an order for a fine of $1 000.
However, in their ruling, judges Martin Makonese and Maxwell Takuva on Monday said that his appeal had no merit, as he could not justify why he was saying the sentence was harsh.
“The appellant has not given the reason why he is saying the sentence given is harsh and it is not true that the trial magistrate erred in passing the sentence. Therefore, his appeal has no merit and is hereby dismissed,” ruled Makonese.
Magwenzi was arrested on January 30 last year at 9pm after the police received a tip off that he was in possession of dagga at his residence in Mzilikazi suburb of Bulawayo. Police then raided and searched his home before recovering 12 plastic bags full of prepared dagga inside a wardrobe and under the bed. Their further check led to the recovery of 30 sachets of prepared dagga. The dagga weighed 3,925kg with a street value of $3 925.
The police also recovered seven bottles (100ml each) of broncleercough syrup under the sofa in the dining room. The syrup is worth $21.