Detectives in Chipinge last week raided a 67-year-old man’s field and uprooted 94 mbanje plants measuring between 1,5m and 2m. Chipinge District Criminal Investigations Departments spokesperson Detective Assistant Inspector Daniel Mhini confirmed the arrest of Thomas Makhanyeza of Hunzana Village under Chief Mapungwana’s area in connection with the growing of mbanje in his fields. He said Makhanyeza was arrested on December 27.
“I can confirm the arrest of Thomas Makhanyeza in connection with the growing of mbanje for commercial purposes in his field last week. Police swiftly reacted to information received from informers that Makhanyeza was in the business of growing mbanje in his field, which is located between two mountains in Hunzana Village.
“Detectives led by Detective Constable Gonisi visited the area where they located Makhanyeza at his homestead. Upon interrogating him, he revealed where he was growing the mbanje plants. He led them to his field where 94 plants of mbanje measuring between 1,5m and 2m were uprooted,” said Detective Asst Insp Mhini.
He said the uprooted mbanje was confiscated and Makhanyeza was taken to Chipinge Magistrates’ Court where he appeared before senior magistrate, Mr Noah Gwatidzo last Friday. He pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody to today for sentencing. In mitigation, he pleaded for the court’s lenience, saying he was earning a living through the growing of mbanje.
“Your Worship, I earn a living through growing mbanje in my field. Please give me another chance, I will never commit another offence of this nature,” he pleaded with the court.
Mr Themba Dhliwayo prosecuted.