By Mary Taruvinga
A Harare drug mule will spend the next nine years behind bars, after he was convicted for possession of dagga weighing over 700kgs.
Ranganai Samhembere (38), was slapped with a nine year jail term by Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza.
The magistrate ruled that Samhembere deserved a custodial sentence since he committed a serious offense.
“Such offenses are on the rise and it is this court’s duty to send a clear message to would be offenders, that no such a crime would be tolerated,” she said.
Chimboza ruled that it was clear that the dagga was for commercial purposes and would have ended being in the society.
The drugs had a street value of RTGS$49 000 and will be destroyed by the state.
Court also ordered the forfeiture of Samhembere’s Toyota Hiace which was transporting the dagga the day he was nabbed.
Prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri had urged Chimboza to jail Samhembere.
“It is not always the case that first offenders should be treated with leniency,” she said.
“It is very clear the dagga was not for personal consumption because of its quantity. It would have ended up being consumed by young adults at a time we are advocating against drug abuse,” Mukumbiri said.
The prosecutor gave reference of a case in which a Mutoko man was fined RTGS$150 for growing nine dagga plants.
She submitted that the High Court ruled that the offender should have been caged for a period not below three years.
“Your worship, what of the accused who was caught with 29 bags. His moral blameworthy is very and should be given a custodial sentence,” said the prosecutor.
Samhembere was convicted after a full trial.
According to the State Samhembere was arrested on April 13 last year while driving a Toyota Hiace registration number AEL 2492.
He was in company of another suspect, who is set to face trial.
Acting on a tip-off, detectives pounced on the two as they loaded their illicit loot into their vehicles.
Kachirika proved the police proceeded to the provided place, where they intercepted the two vehicles.
Samhembere was arrested after a search was conducted on his vehicles where 29 bags of dagga weighing 700 kgs were recovered.
Further investigations showed that Samhembere was the owner of the vehicles.
The dagga had a street value of RTGS$49 000.