Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s customs alert system led to the arrest of two Kenyans at Kazungula Border post for smuggling 60kgs of marijuana into Zimbabwe.

The Kenyans, Kamau Joseph Muchai and Duke Sammy will spend the next six years in prison following their conviction by the Victoria Falls Magistrate Court for possessing dangerous drugs.

The incident occurred on 2 February 2024 when Muchai and Sammy presented themselves for customs formalities at Kazungula Private Imports counter where they requested a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for their vehicle, claiming they were in transit to Kenya.

During the routine inspection of the vehicle, the ZIMRA officer became suspicious of the van, which had new side panels and appeared to have been recently painted to convert it into a fridge van. Inside the van, the officer found personal clothing, diesel containers, mineral water and groceries. However, the officer noticed that the interior dimensions of the van were shorter than the exterior dimensions, suggesting the presence of an undisclosed compartment.

When questioned about the discrepancy, Kamau and Duke failed to provide satisfactory answers. The officer decided to conduct a thorough physical examination and discovered an inaccessible space between the front of the van and the loading compartment.

The van was then taken to the search bay, where the false compartment was opened and found 60.5 kilograms of marijuana concealed in eight wrapped black plastic bags, divided into 67 small packages.

Kamau and Sammy were later detained and handed over to the local police while the vehicle was seized by ZIMRA.

On February 4, the two appeared in court at Victoria Falls magistrate court, where they were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Four years of their sentence were suspended on the condition of good behavior, leaving them with an effective six-year prison term.

The Commissioner for Customs and Excise, Mr. Batsirai Chadzingwa, praised the collaboration between ZIMRA and other law enforcement agencies at the border and vowed to maintain vigilance and active surveillance in order to protect society. He highlighted the importance of ZIMRA's role in safeguarding Zimbabwe from becoming a hub for illegal drugs and substances, both as a destination and a transit point.