ONE of the four cross-border transporters popularly known as “omalayitsha” who had remained facing a charge of smuggling ammunition while the other three were acquitted heaved a sigh of relief when he was fined $300 after court investigations revealed that the components he was transporting were not of the fire arm category.
The court had his charge changed to ordinary smuggling.
Njabulo Nxumalo (31) of House Number 17/ 547 Mpopoma, Bulawayo was last week sentenced to a fine of $300 or three months imprisonment for smuggling by Gwanda magistrate Mr Willard Maphios Moyo after pleading guilty through his defense counsel, Mr Zibusiso Charles Ncube of Ncube and Partners.
On delivering sentence, Mr Moyo said the goods that Nxumalo smuggled were ordinary and were not harmful to the society therefore the earlier charge of smuggling ammunition was dropped.
“It is noted and agreed that you were just employed in the business of transporting goods from South Africa to Zimbabwe and you failed to declare those goods at the border as you are supposed to do, thereby committing an offence of smuggling. We preferred to charge you with ordinary smuggling, in that regard therefore the sentence to be imposed need not to be different from sentences imposed in cases of a similar nature. We have taken into account the duty value to be paid for the goods therefore it determines this sentence. The fine should therefore not exceed three times the duty value to have been paid,” ruled the magistrate.
“Accordingly therefore the court sentences you to a fine of $300 or three months imprisonment, in addition the components in question are forfeited to the State.” For the State, prosecutor, Mr Blessing Gundane said on 23 June this year Nxumalo was travelling from South Africa driving a Toyota Quantum registered CF52 LRGP towing a trailer registered FF05 PYGP which was loaded with various goods.
Nxumalo had completed all the customs of formalities when he proceeded to the last check point where he was intercepted by police who were on an anti-smuggling deployment.
Nxumalo was instructed to proceed to the search bay for re-searching after a suspicion that he had not fully declared his luggage. Upon re-searching the vehicle, boxes stashed with the contraband were found and seized by Zimra under notice of seizure number 06500K.