Tarisai Machakaire 10 May 2017
HARARE – A South African woman suspected to have ingested cocaine and
attempted to smuggle the drugs into Zimbabwe was busted at Harare
International Airport on Friday.
Isaura Masinga, 40, of Germistone, South Africa, was dragged to court
yesterday where she appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza
facing a possession of cocaine charge.
Immediately after her arrest, she was referred to Carestream for an ultra
sound scan at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, which confirmed the
presence of ingested “body packs” in her abdomen.
“The abnormal bowl related masses with shadowing seen in the left lumbar
region may be ingested body packs. However, the use of ultrasound scan in
detecting ingested body packs is very limited. Further assessment with CT
scan is suggested,” reads the comment on the scan report.
When court proceedings commenced, Masinga’s lawyer, Nickiel Mushangwe,
challenged his client’s placement on remand on the basis that she had been
charged on allegations of possessing a substance that the State had failed
to recover from her.
He slammed the State for relying on an ultrasound scan at a time his
client is pregnant. He argued the scan may have picked the foetus.
Prosecutor Michael Reza argued that the tip-off had assured detectives
that Masinga’s preferred mode of transporting the drugs was by ingesting.
“The intelligence received by detectives was to the effect that there is a
South African woman on an Emirates flight bringing in cocaine to Zimbabwe.
They were further advised that if they failed to recover cocaine from her
luggage or person, it would be because she preferred transporting it
through her stomach.
” . . . that was when police checked on the plane’s passenger list and
discovered that the accused person was on that flight”.
The application was dismissed by Chimbodza. Masinga was subsequently
placed on remand.
Reza then moved to apply for Masinga’s toilet visits to be closely
“While the accused person is in custody, she must not be allowed to visit
the toilet on her own and must be given a bucket and, whatever she passes
out must be kept by the police,” Reza said.
Mushangwe objected to the application, arguing that it infringed on his
client’s rights to privacy and dignity.
Chimboza granted the application and advised Mushangwe that evidence would
also exonerate his client if no cocaine substance was found.
The matter was subsequently remanded to May 12.