TWO physically challenged men residing at Govera Social Welfare Quarters — a home for people with disabilities, were last week arrested for dealing in mbanje at the home, after a police officer approached one of them, visually impaired, and asked to buy the illegal drug.
SILAS NKALA, STAFF REPORTER
Joseph Mudenda (60) — disabled on the legs — pleaded not guilty to possession of mbanje, while Ephraim Mudenda (60) — visually impaired, — pleaded guilty to the same charge, when they appeared before Binga resident magistrate Stephen Ndlovu on Monday.
The State withdrew the charges against Joseph after he said all the mbanje was found in Ephraim’s pockets and not his.
Ephraim was convicted on his own plea of guilty, but was warned, cautioned and discharged, with the magistrate taking into cognisance that he was old and physically challenged.
Prosecutor Bruce Maphosa told the court that on August 16 this year at 8:30am, police in Binga got a tip-off that the two were dealing in mbanje at the social welfare home.
A police officer went to investigate and approached Ephraim, asking to buy mbanje.
Ephraim told him he had the drug and Joseph, who was sitting close to him, immediately dipped his hand into Ephraim’s pocket and removed two twists of mbanje that he handed to the undercover police officers.
It was then that the police officer searched Ephraim and found in his pockets more twists of mbanje, leading to their arrest.
When asked in court why he possessed mbanje, Ephraim said he smoked it and it was not for sale.
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