Convicted Druglords Anticipate Judgment

The three men convicted of dealing in cocaine will hear their fate on May 20, Magistrate Hileni Kavara told them on Tuesday.

Arson Mayawoula, Castro Ngangu and Elvis Lubaki were convicted by Kavara on a charge of dealing in cocaine weighing 1.6kg with a street value of N$610 000. During submissions on the sentence to be imposed their defence counsel, Orben Sibeya, argued a fair and proper sentence would be a monetary fine. According to Sibeya, his clients have been in custody for more than four years since their arrest and have already served a custodial sentence while not being sentenced. He said the three convicts have “overstayed” in police custody. Sibeya made reference to the case of Danieumll Joao Paulo and Josue Manuel Antonio who were convicted of dealing in 31.1kg of cocaine alkaloid and sentenced to 10 years in prison of which four years were suspended. “Compared to that, the 1kg that the accused were convicted of is peanuts,” Sibeya told the magistrate. He said the sentence should not be meant to serve as an example to other would-be offenders and should not be so severe that it induces a sense of shock. According to him the legislators opted for a fine when they designed the penalty clause for first-time convicts of this offence, namely a fine not exceeding N$30 000 or 15 years’ imprisonment. He requested a fine of N$10 000 or a wholly suspended prison term.

On the other hand Erich Naikaku for the State argued that the returns on drug dealing are very high, money of which government does not receive a single cent. He said that the sentence should be determined by the value of the substance. According to Naikaku, dangerous dependence producing drugs such as cocaine have a devastating effect on society. The ones that suffer most, he said, are the dependants of drug users whiledrug peddlers have no morals.

He adde that the courts should send out a g message that drug smuggling would not be tolerated in Namibia and proposed a term of direct imprisonment of at least 10 years off which four years be suspended for their time already held behind bars. Naikaku said: “None of the convicts are Namibians by birth, they were harboured in Namibia because of the turmoil in their own countries and how do the repay this kindness shown to them, they bring in dangerous drugs.”

Source : New Era