Vol.23 No.54

Tuesday 11 April 2006    





Cartoon Strip

Business Week



Arts/Culture Review




Zimbabwe holds Motswana for cigarette smuggling

4/11/2006 4:12:21 PM (GMT +2)

HARARE: A Zimbabwean court has denied bail to a Motswana man who was arrested last week on allegations of attempting to smuggle 30 cartons of cigarettes from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

The presiding magistrate at Chitungwiza Magistrate's Courts situated 30km east of Harare last week denied Ezekiel Kephas (46), freedom saying he is likely to flee the country if he was released. However, Kephasâ co-accused and a Movement for Democratic Change legislator, Goodrich Chimbaira (34) at whose house the cigarettes were discovered, was ordered to pay Z$3 million (P166) bail by the Chitungwiza magistrate, Patience Ururu. Chimbaira is the MDC Member of Parliament for Zengeza, a working class suburb in Chitungwiza. Also released was one of Chimbaira's co-accused, Muneyi Chiunya (26) on Z$3 million bail. Defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama said Chimbaira and Chiunya were ordered not to leave their homes until the matter was finalised. Prosecutor, Tymon Tabana said on March 21 this year, Cut Ras Processors manufactured Remington Gold cigarettes that are exclusively meant for exportation. A total of 120 cartons were loaded onto a registered delivery truck which was to go to South Africa on March 27. However, when the truck reached Beitbridge Border Post near South Africa, customs officials discovered a shortfall of 50 cartons and Beitbridge police filed a report. On April 3 this year, police received information that the accused persons were fixing Remington Gold cigarettes underneath two trucks at a house in Chitungwiza. Police details in the area then pounced upon the house, the MP's home, and recovered 29 cartons, 45 bricks and six loose packets of the high value Remington Gold cigarettes. It is the State's contention that the identification codes on the recovered cigarettes from Chimbaira tallied with those that were stolen while in transit to South Africa. Zimbabwean tobacco products are on demand in South Africa and Botswana where enterprising Zimbabweans export them, mostly illegally, earning millions of Pula. Kephas was arrested at Chimbaira's home while allegedly trying to conceal the cigarettes. Chiunya had been hired to help in the exercise. Chimbaira handed himself over after Kephas implicated him. Send us your comments about Mmegi newspaper Search For Old Newspaper Editions To advertise contact us through email

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