Five years jail for possessing mbanje

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BY REX MPHISA/ SIMBARASHE SITHOLE

A CHIPINGE man was this week jailed for five years for possession of 24,5kg of mbanje.

Darlington Mangwayana on Wednesday maintained a straight face as his case crumbled on him after months of denial as his wife cried in court.

Mangwayana took his case to the finishing line, maintaining he was not the owner of the mbanje found in Beitbridge in a bus from Chipinge on February 7 2020.

He told the court he only had a satchel when he boarded the bus at Checheche on that fateful day.

His case weakened when his own witness differed with him and said he had a satchel and a paper bag.

The crew of the bus he boarded, brought in as State witnesses, nailed him further when they produced a duplicate of his ticket and that of the luggage he paid for at Checheche.

The serialised tickets showed the person who boarded at Checheche paid for his luggage, being the two bags of mbanje and the bus, and did not carry any other luggage on that day, neither did it pick any other passenger at that bus stop.

On arrival at Dulivhadzimo bus terminus, Mangwayana had hired a taxi to pick his luggage, but noticed plain clothes police closing in and smelt a rat, ordering the driver off at high speed.

He was tracked down and arrested.

Magistrate Toindepi Zhou referred to precedent sentences by the High Court to arrive at that sentence.

He said possession of dangerous drugs attracted stiff penalties and set aside a year after considering Mangwayana’s mitigation in which he said he looked after a big family with five children of his own and others from deceased relatives.

He also begged for a non-custodial sentence saying his wife was unwell.

Effectively, Mangwayana will serve a four-year term.  Tsitsi Mutukwa prosecuted.

Meanwhile, two Glendale cannabis growers were on Thursday sentenced to a combined eight years in jail by Concession magistrate Nixon Mangoti.

Tonderai Sajeni (25) and Anymore Katandika (20) of Clifton Farm in Glendale pleaded guilty to the
charge.

The duo told the magistrate that they grew the illegal crop to earn a living since life was very difficult in Zimbabwe.

“Your worship, I think everyone knows that life is difficult in Zimbabwe and so we committed this offence to try and earn a living. Spare us a jail term please,” lamented the convicts.

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