Drug peddler caged 9 years

A 38-YEAR-OLD Budiriro man who was caught in possession of 29 bags of mbanje weighing 700 kilogrammes (kg) was yesterday slapped with an effective nine-year jail term.

Ranganai Samhembere was busted by police in April last year as he transported the drug with a street value of $49 000 in his private vehicle. He was charged with unlawful dealing in dangerous drugs.

Chimboza ruled that while Samhembere was a first offender, he committed a serious offence and that a custodial sentence will befit the crime.

She said the quantity of the drug suggests that it was commercial purposes not personal consumption. “Such offences are on the rise and it is the duty of the court to send a clear message to would be offenders.”
Samhembere’s vehicle was also forfeited to the State while Chimboza ordered the drug to be destroyed.

In mitigation, prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri pleaded for a custodial sentence. Mukumbiri alluded to the case of a Mutoko man who was fined $150 for growing nine dagga plants.
She submitted during appeal and the High Court ruled that the court was lenient and should have caged the man for about four years.

“What about the accused person who was caught with 29 bags?” Mukumbiri said.

Allegations against Samhembere 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 and armed with two vehicles, Kachirika said the detectives drove to Damafalls where they intercepted Samhembere who was driving a white Toyota Regius along an unnamed dust road.

The drugs were weighed at the Vehicle Inspection Depot in Eastlea and weighed 700kg.