Drug dealer appeals against sentence

A MAN who in March was convicted and sentenced by a Bulawayo magistrate for allegedly dealing in drugs is now appealing against both conviction and sentence.

By Khulani Nkabinde

Elasto Mugwadi, whose age was not given, was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, of which three were suspended on condition of good behaviour, while the remainder of the sentence were suspended on condition that Mugwadi completes 210 hours of community service at Mufakose 2 High School in Harare.

But Mugwadi has launched an appeal through his lawyers Mugwadi and Associates, based in Bulawayo.

Mugwadi and his accomplice, Truman Adams were arrested in March after being found in possession of cocaine weighing
1 725kg.

Adams did not appeal against both conviction and sentence.

In his appeal notice, Mugwadi says the court erred in convicting him without full evidence.

“The court a quo (action) erred and misdirected itself in holding that the appellant was found in possession of cocaine, when there was evidence that the powder found in possession of Truman Adams was not cocaine but Crystal Ephedrine, which is not an illegal substance or drug, the appeal reads.

“The court a quo further erred and grossly misdirected itself in accepting the evidence that there was cocaine when evidence showed that only bluish traces were found in the powder, which powder the court through evidence did not hold to be an illegal substance or drugs and as such there was no drug in the powder neither was appellant found in possession of any cocaine when he was arrested.”

Mugwadi’s lawyers further say that the tests conducted on the said powder did not prove that it was cocaine “as alleged in the state outline and charge sheet”.

“The court a quo further erred in convicting appellant for dealing in a dangerous or prohibited drug when no evidence was led to that effect nor imputation made of the existence of identified or potential buyers,” the appeal further reads.

The registrar of the High Court is yet to respond to the appeal.

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