Social media is on fire following a tweet by Zimbabwe’s information tsar, Nick Mangwana, highlighting the alleged arrest of magistrate Morgan Nemadire, who imposed a fine instead of a custodial sentence in a case involving a foreigner found in possession of cocaine worth US$500,000.
In the tweet, Mangwana said, “In October 2020, Magistrate, Morgan Nemadire imposed a ZWL$700 fine on a Venezuelan national, Delcy Daymar Rodriguez Guererro, who was convicted of possessing more than 5kg of cocaine worth US$500,000. He has now been arrested and charged with abuse of public office (Corruption).”
The tweet generated a lot of interest among many Zimbabweans with some condemning Nemadire’s arrest while others praised the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission for its attempts to curb corruption.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi and Nemadire were unavailable for comment Monday night.
One of the people, who reacted to the tweet identified as Makoromokwa Zimba, said, “In Zimbabwe a judge has dismissed Nguwaya who was facing USD 60 million fraud scotfree. Draxgate the judge is still at work;
“Former Health Minister (Obadiah Moyo) has been charged with looting of more than USD20 million and he's still outside remand while those who hold placards demonstrating are jailed without trial. Sour grapes. Shame.
Responding to the same tweet, Tawanda Machaka, said, “I think it's wrong to arrest a judicial officer for handing down judgments or sentences we are not happy with. The law always provides a recourse against such. Judicial officers must exercise their functions without fear of arrests in case some don't agree with them.
“For instance , we have a magistrate who almost had all his judgments denying bail 2 certain figures have overturned at the High Court. If it's a case of incompetence then the JSC (Judicial Service Commission) must step in & discipline it's employees. Arresting them should only be on concrete evidence of corruption.”
Zimbabwean Simanga S. Dube was not happy at all. “So the arrest then tells us that our magistrates don't follow any law in Zim but make judgements are based on their personal judgements. Constitution is obviously not used in our courts. And that means judgements are passed based on who the offender is.”
Mehlulisizwe also reacted to the tweet, saying, “After watching the Tilder Moyo Live Youtube Comrade @nickmangwana there are lots of cases that need to be reviewed !!! Magistrates are sending innocent ppl to prison !!! I think every convicted person must be afforded a lawyer ... I know its difficult but eish the cries are painful.”
But some praised Zimbabwe’s law enforcement agents saying they are doing a wonderful job in attempting to curb corruption in the country.
The Venezuelan woman was arrested last year at Robert Mugabe International Airport following a tip off that he was in possession of cocaine.
A Mbare woman, Veronica Matongo, who was arrested last year and found in possession of 2,3 kilograms of cocaine worth $184,464 was sentenced to 15 years in prison. A Peruvian, who was also arrested and found with one kilogram of cocaine last December, was sentenced to10 years in prison.