A 38-YEAR-OLD Zimbabwean woman was last week convicted by a Francistown magistrate in Botswana for possession of stolen medical drugs.
Netsai Chinyembere, who was arrested on January 10 for possession of stolen property after a tip-off from members of the public, pleaded guilty to the offence when she appeared before Francistown magistrate Dumisani Bagopi. Asked by the magistrate how she got hold of the drugs, Chinyembere only said she had bought the medication from a stranger for her personal use.
“I bought this medication from a stranger because it was cheap. I, however, accept that I did not use the right channel to buy the medication,” she said.
“I plead with the court to forgive me and I swear before the court that I will not repeat the offence.”
However, Bagopi told her that she should have known that the channel she was using to buy the medication was unlawful. He said there were proper channels of getting medication in hospitals, clinics or from pharmacies.
“It still boggles my mind as to how you chose to buy the medication from an individual despite the fact that you knew the proper channels of acquiring such medication,” Bagopi said.
“You can access the medication from hospitals, pharmacies and even clinics.”
He said Chinyembere’s answers were consistent with her plea of guilty and convicted her as charged.
The medication, which consisted of pills, syringes and capsules, was used as exhibit in court.
According to media reports in Botswana, police got a tip-off from members of the public that Chinyembere was in possession of stolen drugs.
Police conducted their own investigation and tracked down Chinyembere in Somerset West, Francistown. She failed to produce receipts for the medication in her possession and also failed to give a satisfactory explanation as to how she came to possess it.
The value of the medication has yet to be established. Bagopi remanded her in custody to January 31 for mitigation and sentence.