Chinese sentenced to 10 years in prison

via Chinese sentenced to 10 years in prison – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 25, 2015

HARARE magistrate Tendai Mahwe yesterday sentenced a Chinese national, Li Chengping (57), to an effective 10 years in prison for illegally possessing gold and emeralds despite the defence counsel’s spirited efforts to have the convict spared a jail term.


Chengping was arrested at Harare International Airport on November 17 this year while on his way to China in possession of 2,94 grammes of gold valued at $105,70 and three pieces of emeralds valued at $240,70 without being a holder of a licence or permit which allows him to deal in the minerals.

Mahwe, in sentencing Chengping, said he applied his mind to the law and the circumstances of the convict.

“After taking into consideration all the factors, for possession of gold, you are sentenced to five years in prison, and for the second count of emeralds possession, you are sentenced to another five years. This effectively makes them 10 years in prison,” Mahwe said.

“I take that you broke the law while being aware of what it says about minerals since you are involved in mining at Zvishavane.”

Breach of the Minerals Act attracts a custodial sentence within the statute.

Chengping’s lawyer Tich Muhonde had last Friday implored the court to be lenient with his client, whom he said was a first offender, and sentence him to a fine equivalent to double the value of the minerals found on him.

Muhonde had argued that the fact that he pleaded guilty was a special reason why he should not be given a custodial sentence in addition to being a first offender.

“The accused is a foreigner, unsophisticated and non-conversant with the mineral laws of this country, who intended to use these stones as souvenirs. This, coupled with the negligible value of the emeralds and gold, should weigh in his favour,” he said.


  • comment-avatar
    The Mind Boggles 7 years ago

    I thought we had sold all the minerals to the Chinese?? Poor fellow thought they were his seeing as we are all weather friends!!!

  • comment-avatar
    C Frizell 7 years ago

    That is a miscarriage of justice – he must have pissed off some senior Zanoid.

    Two grams of gold and three tiny emeralds and he gets 10 years?

    Parirenyatwa steals $100,000 and walks away
    Murderers walk away
    Cashbert Dube walks away

    Yep, I wonder who he pissed off? Or did he fall off Disgrace?

  • comment-avatar

    ten years in jail for being in possession of $346-40 (three hundred and forty six dollars and forty cents) in gold and emeralds.

    this is truly a miscarriage of justice.

  • comment-avatar

    The ‘Whistle Blower ‘to be could not be made to disappear.China and Zimbabwe agreed for a less provocative solution.

  • comment-avatar
    naminab 7 years ago

    That Chinese will not even spend a single night in prison, the Chinese embassy and all the ZANU PF guys will be knocking on the door of the magistrate to have the guy released. Beside why is the Chinese President coming to Zimbabwe after sidelining the country for all these years. He is also ensuring that all these bad elements are released. Chinese are talking of reduced investment in Africa, but how much have they benefited by looting mineral resources. No one is saying anything about that? China is full og crooks and they are so poor back home that all that they are doing in the so called investment is to create employment and space for their blooning population.

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