TWO Bulawayo men busted in a dramatic anti-drug operation in Bulawayo last week appeared in court on Monday, facing charges of violating the country’s drug trafficking laws.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Arkimon Sarishonga (41) and Blessing Muchenje (27) were arrested in a raid at their flat in the central business district, where an assortment of illicit drugs was recovered by police units, including the Criminal Investigation Department Drugs and Canine Unit.
There were claims that their flat, situated at the corner of 1st Avenue and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street, was a haven for crime and also a supply source for the notorious Vuzu parties.
The pair was granted ZWL$1 000 bail each by Bulawayo magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi for contravening the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, Chapter 9:23 (Possessing dagga) as well as breaching the Medicine and Allied Substances Control Act which criminalises “possessing unregistered medicine”.
The magistrate also ordered the accused to report twice at Bulawayo Central Police Station every week and not to interfere with State witnesses until the matter was finalised.
The trio was also ordered to stay at their given residential address. Their next court appearance is July 2.
Prosecutor Mufaro Mageza told the court that police officers on July 11 received information that the accused were selling drugs at their place of residence, leading to the raid and subsequent arrests.
Police recovered dagga weighing 10,4 kg. During the search, police officers also recovered 58x100mls Broncleer, 61x100mls Alcophyllex cough syrup, 20×10 pockets of Diazepam, 5x100mls Benylin cough syrup and 8×4 packets of Sildenafil tablets.
The recovered unregistered drugs had a street value of $ 1 312. Police officers also recovered US$801, P3 820, RTGS$21,30 and R50 during the raid.
After the raid, Bulawayo crime prevention officer, Chief Superintendent Manuel Usiku, said police would not rest until the drug lords were removed from society.
“Of late, we have a lot of people who are being admitted to hospitals, suffering from mental problems because of drug abuse,” Usiku said.
“We have quite a number of people, especially here in Bulawayo, who are admitted at Ingutsheni Central Hospital due to the abuse of these drugs. Through our surveillance, we observed that mainly youths were frequenting this place.”