Monday 21 May 2018


A 35-YEAR-OLD man from Bulawayo has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after he was found with a gramme of cocaine in Gwabalanda suburb.

Farai Manja Katiyo from Gwabalanda suburb was searched by detectives following an anonymous tip off and was found in possession of 1g of cocaine which has a street value of $80 last Tuesday.

Katiyo pleaded guilty to a single charge of possessing a dangerous drug when he appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Stephen Ndhlovu.

He told the magistrate that he had no idea that the drug was cocaine. “I am admitting to the charge but I did not know it was an unlawful substance because a friend of mine left it in my custody for safekeeping,” said Katiyo.

He also said he could not dispute the facts of the matter since he was not the one who bought the drug so he had no knowledge of its street value.

Mr Ndhlovu convicted him on his own plea of guilty and sentenced him to 18 months in prison of which 12 were suspended for good behaviour for the next five years and the remaining six months were converted to 210 hours of community service.
The magistrate expressed his shock at the rising number of cases of people found with the dangerous substance.

“Cocaine was a drug that was hard to find in Zimbabwe and it is shocking that it seems as if it is now easy to access because of the rising number of cocaine cases,” said Mr Ndhlovu
“This is a very serious crime, granting you a fine will trivialise the crime.”

Prosecuting, Mr Tony Kamudyariwa told the court that on Tuesday detectives received information that Katiyo was in possession of dangerous drugs.

“An ambush was laid at the accused person’s place of residence where the accused was identified,” said Mr Kamudyariwa

“A body search was conducted leading to the recovery of a sachet that had four pieces of cocaine in crystal form.”

This comes less than a week after police arrested a South African based woman who allegedly sent a Bulawayo woman to collect 3,14kgs of cocaine with an estimated street value of $314 300 on her behalf last month.

Kwanele Sibanda (26) from Johannesburg allegedly contacted Tholiwe Sheron Tshuma (25) of Emganwini suburb to collect the drugs on her behalf while she was in South Africa.
She was arrested on Friday and she will be back in court on May 28. Chronicle


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