Mbanje grower slapped with a three-year jail term

By ZBC reporter

A MARONDERA man has been sentenced to three years in jail after he was found guilty of growing marijuana at his home in Cherutombo suburb. Givemore Gwenukwenu (39) was found guilty by Marondera Magistrate, Elisha Singana for contravening section 157 of the Criminal Law Codification Act for unlawful possession of dangerous drugs.

Gwenukwenu pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years of which one year was suspended for a period of five years and will serve an effective three years in prison. According to the state, Gwenukwenu who is also an artist was arrested by members of the CID Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit after a tip-off from members of the public to the effect that he was cultivating marijuana at his residence. 34 plants of the drug with an average height of 160metres were found in his yard.The plants were taken by the police and were used in court as exhibit.
Government legalised the production of cannabis (mbanje or dagga) for medicinal or scientific purposes in April 2018. This was announced by the then Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa in a Government Gazette under Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018 (Dangerous Drugs — Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations). Producers of mbanje must however be licensed by the minister.