Govt aims to erad­i­cate poverty

$70 000 mbanje was epilepsy medicine, man tells court

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/opinion - Andile Tshuma Court Re­porter Than­deka Moyo Chron­i­cle Re­porter

A MAN from Mozam­bique who was ar­rested for pos­sess­ing al­most $70 000 worth of dagga, has told a court that he used it to treat his epilep­tic son.

Farai Aruchipetu (40) of Pu­mula South sub­urb in Bu­l­awayo said he owned part of the dagga that was found in his pos­ses­sion and pro­fessed ig­no­rance about the ori­gins of the rest of the il­licit drug.

He ap­peared along­side an ac­com­plice, Shep­herd Ed­son Town (39), be­fore Western Com­mon­age mag­is­trate Ms Tancy Dube, fac­ing two counts of pos­ses­sion of dagga.

Aruchipetu pleaded not guilty to the first count of THE Govern­ment has pledged to live within its means in a bid to re­duce poverty which re­mains at over 70 per­cent among the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Trea­sury’s Zim­babwe In­terim Poverty Re­duc­tion Strat­egy Pa­per, there will be belt tight­en­ing in govern­ment.

“In or­der to main­tain macro-eco­nomic sta­bil­ity, Govern­ment will con­tinue to ex­er­cise pru­dence in fis­cal man­age­ment, pri­mar­ily by spend­ing within its means. Whilst cur­rent civil ser­vice re­forms will con­tinue to be im­ple­mented to ra­tio­nalise the wage bill, there will also be­ing found in pos­ses­sion of three 50 kg bags of dagga and the mag­is­trate re­manded him out of cus­tody to to­mor­row for con­tin­u­a­tion of trial.

On the sec­ond count, he ad­mit­ted he was the owner of two bricks of dagga that were found on his per­son in a satchel.

Dur­ing trial, Aruchipetu told the mag­is­trate that he has an epilep­tic son and he uses dagga to treat him.

He said the drug was a fa­mous rem­edy for epilepsy in be grad­ual ex­pen­di­ture,” said the pa­per.

It said The Min­istry of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment will pay at­ten­tion to pro-poor pro­grammes and projects since poverty is a ma­jor chal­lenge for most Zim­bab­weans.

The pro­grammes would be com­ple­mented by in­creas­ing fis­cal ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency in the use of pub­lic re­sources, which will re­sult in im­proved ef­fi­ciency in pub­lic sec­tor ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In the fore­word to the pa­per, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa said erad­i­cat­ing poverty is the Govern­ment‘s top over­all pol­icy ob­jec­tive.

“Poverty erad­i­ca­tion strate­gies and in­ter­ven­tions have been em­bed­ded in all eco­nomic pro­grammes Govern­ment has been im­ple­ment­ing since the Mozam­bique. “Your Wor­ship, I ad­mit po­lice found dagga at my house when they laid an am­bush. I use the dagga as med­i­ca­tion for my son who suf­fers from epilepsy. I in­tended send­ing the dagga back home in Mozam­bique,” said Aruchipetu. Pros­e­cut­ing, Mr Mu­faro Mageza told the court that po­lice ar­rested the duo in Au­gust fol­low­ing a tip off. “Po­lice re­ceived in­for­ma­tion that Town was in pos­ses­sion of dagga. They re­cov­ered three and a half sacks con­tain­ing dagga in the ac­cused’s bed­room. “Town told the po­lice that the dagga be­longed to Aruchipetu who brought it for safe keep­ing,” said Mr at­tain­ment of In­de­pen­dence in 1980. The de­vel­op­ment of this In­terim Poverty Re­duc­tion Strat­egy Pa­per for Zim­babwe (IPRSP): 2016-2018 is yet an­other ap­proach to mit­i­gate poverty, con­sis­tent with Zim As­set,” he said.

He said the Govern­ment has over the years suc­ceeded in halv­ing the pop­u­la­tion in ex­treme poverty from 44 per­cent in 1995 to 22 per­cent by 2012.

“The gen­eral poverty had, as mea­sured by the To­tal Con­sump­tion Poverty Line, re­mained rel­a­tively high, at over 70 per­cent.

“Against this back­ground, Govern­ment has for­mu­lated the I-PRSP, fo­cus­ing on spe­cific short term mea­sures, but with long term im­pact on the liveli­hoods of the pop­u­la­tion, tar­get­ing par­tic­u­larly, the vul­ner­a­ble seg­ments of our so­ci­ety.” —@thamamoe. Mageza.

He added: “Po­lice then used Town’s phone to call Aruchipetu pre­tend­ing to be po­ten­tial buy­ers. They asked him to come to Town’s house where they am­bushed him.”

Mr Mageza said for the sec­ond count, Aruchipetu was found with two bricks of dagga weigh­ing 260 grammes.

“Ac­cused came to Town’s house with a black satchel con­tain­ing one brick of dagga. Po­lice took him to his house for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions. They re­cov­ered one more brick and an­other packet hid­den in his cup­board,” he said.

A state­ment by the po­lice read that one Si­men­gani Ndlovu (34), a fe­male ven­dor, was sell­ing the rest of the dagga on the streets.— @andile_t­shuma.

Chief Mag­is­trate Mr Mishrod Gu­va­mombe

Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa

Farai Aruchipetu

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