Magistrate Morgan Nemadire today appeared in court facing criminal abuse of office charges after he fined a Venezuelan $700 for carrying 5kg of cocaine worth US$469 000 in her luggage.
Nemadire was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna, who remanded him to February 3, 2021 on $5000 bail.
Last year Nemadire fined the Venezuelan for carrying the cocaine in her luggage as she flew into Harare from Brazil. But in a recent declaratory ruling on appeal, the High Court thought five years jail was the appropriate sentence although the Venezuelan had already been deported by that time.
The new ruling raised suspicions over why the magistrate was so lenient.
Nemadire tried Delcy Deymar Rodriguez Guerrero who had been arrested for possessing 5kg cocaine and with the overwhelming evidence convicted her on the alternative more minor charge, rather than the main more serious charge, before imposing a sentence of a small fine.
Nemadire’s arrest follows investigations by the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (Sacu) with the assistance of the police.