A Binga man has been sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for selling dagga in a bus after a fellow traveller tipped off the police who subsequently found him with the drugs.
Sifelani Sibanda (46) of Chinonge village under Chief Pashu in Lusulu will, however, perform 315 hours of community service after Hwange magistrate Portia Mhlanga-Moyo suspended six months of the sentence on condition of good behaviour and converted the remainder to community service at Chinonge Primary School.
Sibanda was convicted of contravening Section 157 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23 “Unlawful possession of dangerous drugs”.
Prosecutor, Esther Sibanda told the court that on Thursday last week at around 9am, Hwange police officers were conducting security checks at a roadblock at Baobab turn-off when a passenger in the bus alerted them to Sibanda’s antics.
Sibanda had boarded the Makabongwe bus from Lusulu village in Binga.
The police officers asked all the passengers to surrender their luggage for searching and they did not find anything.
It was when they were doing individual body searches that they recovered 335 grammes dagga wrapped in a plastic packet stashed under Sibanda’s armpit before putting on a jacket to cover up.
Asked by the magistrate why he committed the offence, Sibanda said, “I am unemployed and I am raising minor children.
My children were sleeping without food and growing dagga was the only option. I knew that it was an offence selling it but that is how we survive in our communities. We are all struggling to make a living,” he said in mitigation. The recovered dagga was valued at $235.