GRANDAD NABBED FOR GROWING WEED
A 76-YEAR-OLD man from Tsholotsho and two others, who include a village head from Binga, have been arrested for cultivating and possessing mbanje at their homesteads.
A total of more than 260 plants, a sack and buckets of loose dagga weighing 8,4 kilogrammes were found.
Gabriel Tshuma (76) of Ndulane village under chief Magama, Tsholotsho was found with more than 30 plants, while Kapukwe Mugande (54) of Mabula village, Chief Binga, and Identity Mudenda (48) of Mansenya village under Chief Binga in Binga were arrested for cultivation and possession of dagga.
Mudenda is a village head at Mansenya village. On both arrests, police received tip-offs from villagers to the effect that the suspects were cultivating dagga near their gardens and maize fields.
A source close to investigations said Tshuma is an ex-convict who once served more than three years for a similar crime after he was found with more than 300 plants of mbanje in his garden.
When a police team that was conducting an anti-crime awareness campaign raided him at his home, 33 plants measuring about 2 metres in height were recovered in his garden.
He was arrested in the early hours of Thursday. Members of the public informed police that the elderly man had not stopped cultivating mbanje.
In the second incident, a search conducted in Mugande’s bedroom hut led to the recovery of loose dagga which was in a sack and buckets weighing 8,4 kilogrammes.
A villager only identified as Munkuli said a further search led police to the discovery of 228 plants measuring from 50cm to 2,2metres in Mugande’s maize field.
“Further investigations resulted in the suspect also implicating Mudenda who was also cultivating dagga at his homestead. A follow up led to his arrest after he was found with seven plants of dagga measuring between 40cm and 50cm in his maize field,” he said.
Police sources said they suspected more villagers are involved in the cultivation of the dagga and were therefore conducting further investigations.
Matabeleland North acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Eglon Nkala could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered.