‘Smoking mbanje is part of my religion’


A MAN from Matsheumhlope, who was arrested after being found smoking mbanje in public, yesterday left the court in stitches when he said he smoked the illicit drug on religious grounds as a way of worship.


Waine Luiyino (45), spotting long dreadlocks and wearing a black waistcoat and black pair of trousers, pleaded guilty to smoking and possession of mbanje charges when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Tinashe Tashinga yesterday.

The magistrate convicted and further remanded him in custody for sentencing. When the magistrate asked him what his plea on the charges he faced was, Luiyino said; “Your worship this is my religion, I use this as a way of worship.

“I do not usually smoke in public and I do not smoke all the time.”

Then the magistrate asked: “You mean to say that you do not intend to stop smoking?”

Luiyino responded: “If you want me to stop smoking I am going to try.”

“You must not try, you must stop because I do not want to see you coming again to this court for this kind of charge,” Tashinga said.

“I, therefore, find you guilty as charged.”

The court heard that on December 24 2014 at 12 midnight, police officers from the Bulawayo Central Police were on patrol when they saw Luiyino at the central business district smoking mbanje. When he realised that the police officers were about to arrest him, he threw away the mbanje joint he was smoking.

One of the officers who had noticed that he was smoking mbanje picked it.

Luiyino was arrested and taken to Bulawayo Central Police station, before further being taken to the Criminal Investigations Department’s drugs and narcotics section.

He was on the same day released so that he could return on December 29 for the finalisation of the investigations, but he failed to attend. On Monday, CID drugs section officers saw him along Robert Mugabe Way and arrested him.

It is the State case that when he was arrested the detectives searched his pockets and found 4,5g of mbanje worth $4,50.