Bus driver nabbed over $4m mbanje National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Crime Reporter

A bus driver was arrested by police in Beitbridge after 40kg of mbanje with a street value of $4 million was found stashed in a luggage compartment of the bus.

Driver Hendrix Jonga (35) was arrested last Friday at Dulibadzimu bus terminus after the successful search, triggered after police received information that there was mbanje aboard the bus.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest and said the crackdown against drug dealers would continue until there was order countrywide.

He said Jonga’s arrest followed the arrest on Thursday in Chisumbanje of Jairosi Mhlanga (20) in connection with unlawful possession of 3,05kg of dagga, with a street value of US$150.

He is assisting police with investigations.

The operation against drug peddlers was launched last month following reports of rampant drug abuse, especially among the youths.

Recently, Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Maxwell Takuva said Parliament should urgently come up with stringent laws stipulating mandatory minimum, but lengthy sentences against drug dealers for the country to win the war against drug and substance abuse.

He was speaking when he opened the Hwange High Court circuit last week.

Justice Takuva said there was a need for a properly structured multi-faceted approach, including tightening laws and introducing lengthy mandatory sentences if the country is to decisively deal with the menace of drugs and substance abuse.

He said drug abuse and corruption are some of the worst challenges facing the country, with substance abuse blamed for most crimes.

“It is true that the laws on drugs are vague resulting in police and prosecutors experiencing difficulties in coming up with appropriate charges. This will have a bearing on the penalty that is ultimately imposed on the culprit,” said Justice Takuva.

He said President Mnangagwa set the tone on the need to nip drug abuse in the bud when he urged law enforcement agencies to take ruthless action against drug peddlers as drug abuse was impeding economic development.

Studies have shown that 57,7 percent of youths in the country have at some stage abused drugs, while an educated three percent of adult population had a drug or alcohol abuse disorder.

Most admissions at the country’s mental health institutions are drug and substance related. While on circuit in Hwange, the High Court will hear 22 murder cases, five of which are drug related and committed by mentally challenged persons.

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