17 December 2012

Namibia: Tanzanian Cocaine Suspects Get Bail

Photo: UN/File
Illegal drugs on the increase among Zanzibar youth.

The three Tanzanians who were caught with cocaine on October 31 were granted bail on Friday in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.

They were caught at the residence of Alawi Ali Zambarau, the third accused.

Abeid Ally Muhongoro (accused 1), Nasoro Omari Mtombo (accused 2) and Zambarau were each granted bail of N$5 000 after Magistrate Ingrid Unengu heard evidence and submissions for the last two weeks by defence counsel Christiaan Nambahu and Prosecutor Samantha Diergaardt.

The accused face charges of dealing in cocaine, alternatively possession of cocaine and obstructing or defeating the cause of justice for trying to flush the cocaine down a toilet after police entered the house.

Mtombo testified that he and Zambarau were busy preparing food at the residence of Zambarau when Muhongoro arrived. He further said that while they were sitting, Muhongoro took out some "stuff" from his pockets.

According to Mtombo, he did not know what it was, but while Muhongoro was placing the "stuff" on the table he heard a loud banging, followed by a loud noise as if a door was breaking.

He told the court that he then heard someone yelling 'Namibian police' and since he did not know what was happening he started to run. He denied that he ran to the toilet to destroy the cocaine, as is alleged by the State.

He further told the court that the police then identified themselves as the Drug Law Enforcement Unit and indicated to them that the "stuff" was cocaine.

The suspect who claims to be a single father who supports his child in Dar es Salaam further told the court that he is a self-employed mechanic.

Mtombo was in Namibia for barely two weeks on a two-month visitor's visa before his arrest.

Zambarau told the court that he has been living in Namibia for the past seven years and is engaged to a Namibian woman with whom he has two daughters - a four-month-old baby of his own and a seven-year-old daughter of his fiancée that he adopted as his own.

He further told the court that he has a previous conviction for drugs possession, but that he diligently attended all of his court hearings in that case and also adhered to his bail conditions.

He said that during his previous trial he did not have family or assets in Namibia, but attended every court appearance and now that he has family and has built up an asset base in Namibia he has no reason whatsoever to skip the country.

He told the court that he plans to make Namibia his home and has already registered a company with a Namibian partner and is at an advanced stage of acquiring Namibian citizenship.

He further told the court he is not guilty of the offence since he was not feeling well that day and never even entered the living room where the "so-called cocaine" was found.

He also told the court that he buys accident-damaged vehicles at auctions, repairs them and resells them.

After hearing submissions on why or not bail should be granted, Magistrate Unengu granted all the accused bail and warned them to appear again in court on January 30 next year.

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