By Tinashe Mungazi
Three Hwange drug dealers who were selling narcotics to schoolchildren at Kalope Secondary School have been jailed.
Thaboka Ndlovu (21), Bhekimpilo Sibelo (23) and Clinton Joromia (18) were recently caught selling Bron Cleer cough syrup and mbanje to students at the school.
The three appeared before provincial magistrate Barbra Phiri facing charges of possession of prohibited medicines and dangerous drugs. She convicted them on their own plea before sentencing them to 16 months imprisonment each.
Five months of the sentences were suspended on condition of good behaviour, while a further 11 months were set aside on condition that they served 420 hours of community service.
Joromia will, however, serve 385 hours.
The court heard that on March 3, 2019, an informant, who is a member of the school’s development committee, received information from one of the concerned parents that there was a dealer who was selling drugs to schoolchildren at a nearby bush.
The informant then teamed up with other parents and proceeded to a bush near the institution.
They found the trio seated under trees and searched them.
They recovered 7×100 milliliters of Bron Cleer cough syrup stashed in a brown leather bag.
Also, 12 sachets of loose dagga weighing 65 grammes were recovered.
The value of the recovered cough syrup is $126, while mbanje was valued at $24.
A report was made to the police, leading to the trio’s arrest.
Vumizulu Mangena appeared for the State.
The sale of Bron Cleer on the streets is prohibited and can only be obtained over the counter with a prescription.
Bron Cleer is used to treat coughs, but of late, has been abused by youths.
Possible effects of abusing the medicine include confusion, impaired judgment, blurred vision, dizziness, slurred speech, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, lethargy and numbness, among others.
The country has seen an upsurge in substance abuse as well as selling of fake medicines on the streets, with Health minister Obadiah Moyo recently warning Zimbabweans against buying such drugs.
Medicines such as Bron Cleer and other counterfeit drugs are smuggled into the country from neighbouring countries before being sold on the black market.