A Mutambara man was slapped with six months’ imprisonment after he smuggled four vehicles into the country.
Robson Mutambara of Makotamo Village under Chief Mutambara’s area was last week on Thursday convicted of smuggling as defined in Section 182 of the Customs and Excise Act, Chapter 23:04, by Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Langton Carter.
Mutambara, who was represented by Mr Passmore Nyakureba of Maunga, Maanda Legal Practitioners, pleaded not guilty.
However, the six months were suspended for two years on condition of good behaviour.
Mutambara will fork out a fine of $250 000 by September 30, 2022, or risk imprisonment.
Mr Nyasha Mukonyora prosecuted.
Mr Mukonyora said in May 2016, Mutambara smuggled a Ford Ranger truck from South Africa through Beitbridge Border Post.
“In April 2018, Mutambara smuggled a Nissan Hardbody double cab. In May of the same year, he also smuggled another Nissan Hardbody double cab.
In 2019, he smuggled another Ford Ranger truck through Beitbridge Border Post.
“The four vehicles were sold to Messrs Steven Jeyacheya, Lloyd Marange, Godwin Choga and Gwatara Barnabas. The vehicles were recovered by the police on July 9 last year from the people that had bought them,” said Mr Mukonyora.
In mitigation, Mutambara said he is an agent who buys and sells vehicles from South African dealers.
“I thought the deals were legit since I had no hassles in bringing the vehicles into the country,” he said.
Mr Nyakureba also said the State did not suffer any prejudice since one of the vehicles was cleared by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), while the other three vehicles are currently undergoing clearance with the tax authority.