Zimbabwe Woman Charged For Growing Mbanje In Botswana

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By Staff Reporter

A ZIMBABWEAN woman living illegally in Botswana has been arrested for growing cannabis in that country.

Melody Nkomo (37), was arrested after local police received a tip-off while patrolling the streets in Area 9 Monarch, Francistown on March 9, 2021.

During the trial last Friday, Constable Gomolemo Kinnear, who is a member of the Special Support Group (SSG) in the Botswana Police Service (BPS), told court that after receiving a tip-off from the informer, they went to Nkomo’s place and found her in the yard.

“After we arrived at the yard, Nkomo took us to the back of the yard where we found a garden where tomatoes and the plants that we suspected were dagga were being cultivated,” he said.

”Nkomo admitted that she was the owner of the garden after we questioned her in the presence of an independent witness. However, she told us that she believed that all the plants in her garden were tomatoes.

“We later uprooted the plants that we suspected were cannabis and took them to the police station in the company of Nkomo and an independent witness who was residing within the same yard with Nkomo,” Kinnear told the court.

When asked to cross-examine Kinnear, Nkomo told Chief Magistrate Mareledi Dipate that she had no questions for the police officer because he had just told the court what transpired during that day.

After Kinnear gave his testimony, Nkomo admitted the police statement of the independent witness, Ntumediseng Mogopolo.

The accused also said she had no questions to ask the BPS forensic scientist, Moment Ogotseng whose testimony was to the effect that he examined the plants that were brought before him and made a conclusion after analysing the plants that they were cannabis (dagga).

Nkomo told the court that she had no questions to ask Ogotseng when she was given an opportunity to cross-examine him.

Nkomo also informed the court that she had no defence to the allegations that she was charged with. Judgment in the matter will be delivered on February 11, 2022.

In June last year, Nkomo was fined P1 500 for having entered Botswana illegally or six months in jail in default of payment. However, Nkomo escaped imprisonment because she had already spent more than six months in prison.