Police in Zaka had to open fire to try and stop a Gutu smuggler who had led the law enforcement agents on a move-style high speed chase from Beitbridge to Gutu.
A Chiredzi Magistrates' Court heard this during the trial of Sam Gambura, (24), who was last week convicted of smuggling Stumbo sweets and four counts related to refusing to stop at four different road blocks.
Gambura of Number 681, Old Location, Gutu, was fined a total of $300 for the five offences. He was fined $20 or alternatively five days in prison for smuggling and $70 on each of the four counts of failing to comply with lawful orders by the police to stop.
It was the State case that on May 28 this year, Gambura arrived at Beitbridge Border Post from Musina, South Africa with goods which were in a box of stambo sweets. He failed to pay duty worth $18.60 on the goods valued at $27.
He proceeded to drive into Zimbabwe in his VW Grafter TDI passenger vehicle and refused to stop at a road block in Mwenezi along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road. The police gave chase but failed to catch him.
He bulldozed through another roadblock at Ngundu bumping through the roadblock barricades. He refused to heed police calls to stop. Ngundu police then called Triangle police and advised them of Gambura who was drving towards the Lowveld town.
On reaching the roadblock at Triangle, Gambura refused to observe police signals to stop and the police gave chase in a Toyota Ipsum. As the police tried to overtake Gambura and force him to stop, he kept blocking their way and at one time tried to ram their vehicle with his.
The chase went on till they reached Zaka turn off where Gambura turned towards Zaka to avoid another roadblock. It is at this stage that the police fired three warning shots in Gambura's direction but he did not stop and drove towards Jerera Growth Point.
Upon reaching Chekenyera area of Zaka, Gambura stopped his vehicle, jumped off and went to hide in the nearby bushes and the police failed to locate him.
He was then arrested the next day in Gutu.
When the police searched the care, they found the smuggled sweets and called ZIMRA officials who confirmed the goods.
Gladmore Gwara prosecuted.