A MAN from Shirimbani village in the Samende area of Binga was on Tuesday slapped with a 24-month jail term for smuggling canoes and fishing nets he had stolen from Simunyika Fishing Camp in Zambia.
Naison Mupande (37) pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared before Binga resident magistrate Stephen Ndlovu. Six months of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
In mitigation, Mupande said he had stolen the property with the assistance of a Zambian who fled when he was nabbed.
Ndlovu said Mupande was a disgrace to the whole of Zimbabwe and should be punished for that.
“Zambians will say all Zimbabweans are thieves and not you alone. You have disgraced the whole nation,” he said.
Prosecutor David Never Shiku told the court that on February 5 this year, three Zambian fishermen Munzabwa Kabole, Sakalimu Silowozi and Act Silowozi knocked off for the day and parked their canoes with their nets at Simunyika Fishing Camp.
They were surprised to find all their property missing the following day.
Zimbabwean police were tipped off that some property stolen from Zambia was being smuggled into Zimbabwe and launched investigations that led them to Mupande where they recovered the canoes and fishing nets.
On February 8, a Zambian transporter heard about the recovered canoes and nets and alerted the complainants who came to Zimbabwe and positively identified their canoes and fishing nets.
The stolen property worth $900 was all recovered.