By Mary Taruvinga
TWO Harare drug dealers will spend the next 10 years in jail after they were found guilty of illegal possession of dagga valued RTGS$49 000.
Alphonse Mushanawami and Brighton Dinda were caught with the banned drugs weighing 710 kgs last year in Damafalls.
They were convicted after a full trial during which they denied allegations arguing that the police forced them to admit to owning the illicit drugs.
The pair’s conviction comes a month after their accomplice Ranganai Samhembere was convicted of the same offence.
Harare Regional Magistrate Estere Chivasa suspended two years of their sentence conditionally leaving them to serve an effective eight years each.
“Although the two are first offenders, they started at the deep end of criminality and a sharp custodial sentence will be appropriate. This will also send a clear message to would be offenders,” ruled the magistrate.
Allegations against the pair were that on April 13 last year, police detectives from Criminal Investigations Department Theft Squad received information to the effect that suspected drug dealers were loading dagga into two Toyota Hiace vehicles in Damafalls, Harare.
Acting on the tip off and armed with two vehicles, the detectives drove to Damafalls where they intercepted Samhembere who was driving a white Toyota Regius along an unnamed dust road.
Upon his arrest, Samhembere fingered Mushanawami and Dinda leading to their arrest.
The drugs will be destroyed.