A woman wept uncontrollably in court yesterday when her husband was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for cultivating 13 dagga plants at their Borrowdale home in Harare.
Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo suspended six months for five years from the sentence on condition that Garth David Hamp-Adams (46) does not commit any dagga related offence.
In passing sentence, Mr Makomo noted Hamp-Adams was a first offender and did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty.
Prosecutor Ms Tinashe Makiya told the court that on Tuesday this week detectives received information that the accused was cultivating dagga at his house.
They went to number 22 Honeybear Lane, Borrowdale, in the company of police dog section details. On arrival they met Mr Giles Guinnes, accused’s father-in-law who allowed them to search the premises after informing him of their mission.
A search was conducted in the house but nothing was found. The detectives proceeded to the accused’s garage which they found converted into a green house. A total of 13 plants of dagga were discovered, seven of which were planted in buckets and the other six in plastic bags.
Guinnes advised them that they belonged to Garth who was not present at the house during the searches.
The detectives took the dagga plants whose average height was 30 centimetres to the police station where the accused later turned himself in. In mitigation Garth’s lawyer, Mr Belvin Bopoto of Maesera and Partners submitted that the accused was a law-abiding citizen who suffered from a rare bone ailment and used the oil from the plants to treat it.
He said giving the accused a custodial sentence would exacerbate his condition and, therefore, opted for a reformative sentence. Mr Makomo stated that there was no proof of any documentation concerning the alleged ailment and that cultivation of dagga was a serious offence as the act is prohibited in Zimbabwe.
Following the ruling, Mr Bopoto said he was going to appeal against the sentence at the High Court.