Zimbabwe: Doctor Nails Drug Dealer

Senior Court Reporter

A South African national, Sheila Khumalo, was found guilty of smuggling cocaine worth $7,8 million into Zimbabwe from Brazil.

Khumalo (50), was arrested on May 10 at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport while travelling from Brazil.

She is expected to be sentenced on Friday.

Giving evidence yesterday, Dr Clancy Nyamukure narrated how cocaine affects people's health systems and its impact on society.

Dr Nyamukure said cocaine has physical, mental and economic problems. It damages brains, causes stroke, fits, seizures and hallucinations, delusions and it causes euphoria and irritability.

It could also cause involuntary movement of jaws, sore throats, chest pains and heart attack.

It causes abnormal function of the heart muscle, and damaging kidneys and leading to vomiting, itchy skin, early aging, and high or low blood pressure.

It was addictive and so difficult to stop taking the drug.

"Cocaine is found in higher social classes and is peddled through cartels," said Dr Nyamukure.

"There is an association between cocaine, terrorism and money laundering," he said.

Dealers do not usually give pure drugs, but mix it with other impurities to come up with larger quantities when it is sold on the streets.

Substances like flour, heroin and methamphetamine are usually added to cocaine to attain bigger quantities.

Experts say the cocaine that gets to end users is more dangerous because of the impurities added.

Dr Nyamukure said cocaine is a poison that is classified under schedule two of the United Nations conventions on controlled drugs.

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