Ex-American soldier spared jail time

By Fungai Jachi

A former American soldier who was convicted of possessing a firearm and ammunition without clearance has been spared jail time after being fined.

Ronald Johnson was convicted after admitting to unlawfully trying to board a flight at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to Victoria Falls with a firearm and 45 rounds of ammunition.

Johnson was however spared jail time after he was ordered to pay ZWL$30 000 for the first count and ZWL$20 000 for the second case.

In addition to the fines, he was given a three year wholly suspended jail term.

The firearm and ammunition were forfeited to the state.

Facts are that Johnson checked in at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on the 15th of this month intending to board a Fastjet flight to Victoria Falls.

He was found in possession of a 9mm pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition without being granted permission by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.

He also had two other magazines with 15 rounds each.

Johnson was then arrested and taken to court charged with attempting to board a plane with a firearm without legal authority.