Katima Mulilo-Lister Munikonzo, 35, appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrates Court on Wednesday after he was caught red-handed near the Zambezi River with 600 grams of cannabis, worth an estimated N$6,000.
In addition, he reportedly also had 20 bags of breakfast maize meal and eight bags of perishable cabbage containing about 95 cabbages. It is estimated that the value of the items including the cannabis is N$11,900.
According to Zambezi Regional Police Commissioner Theo Karel, police officers on patrol arrested Munikonzo at
Macaravan East close to the banks of the Zambezi River on Monday night at around 23h00 after he had just loaded the said items into a Ford Ranger bakkie with registration number N808080KM.
It is believed the suspect communicated with a supplier in Zambia who transported the items by canoe late that night. He was arrested on the spot and charged with contravening Section 2 of the Customs Act, which prohibits the possession of cannabis. He was also charged with smuggling items using an un-gazetted point of entry.
At the time of his arrest he told the police that the cannabis was put in his car without his knowledge by a Zambian national known to him.
He nevertheless pleaded guilty to the charge during his first court appearance on Wednesday.
His plea was, however, rejected due to the nature of the crime, as the amount of cannabis he was found with was considered significant and the court was thus of the view that he wanted to sell it on the street market.
Munikonzo was granted bail of N$2,000 and the case was postponed to September 18 to allow time for further investigation. Nomsa Kumalo was the presiding magistrate, while Aubrey Ndlovu represented the State.