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Drama as ZRP classifies toys as real guns, Court forced to drop  charges

By Staff Writer

In a dramatic twist of events the Courts have been taken for a ride after alleged gun smugglers proved that they were in possession of just toy guns

This follows the move by misguided police officers who had mistaken the toy guns for pistols worth US$14,750.

The police officers had alleged Douglas Emmanuel Jekanyika, 44, of Belvedere in Harare and Godknows Gunda, 31, of Masasa in Harare would be charged with illegal possession of firearms and smuggling.

As they were taken to the Harare Magistrates Court on Thursday, the charges had been reduced to just smuggling.

Jekanyika was the first to be arrested at 10AM on March 5 after he turned up at High Glen Bus Terminus in Glen Norah to pick up two boxes sent from South Africa with a Tems Logistics bus.

Police who had been tipped off about guns and ammunition on the bus immediately arrested him and found what they initially thought were 10 Blow F92 pistols and 20 Blow P29 pistols with empty magazines. There were also 1,700 rounds of ammunition.

The National Prosecuting Authority on Thursday said the guys were in fact toy guns and the ammunition was blanks.

“The accused were asked to produce the declaration papers and they had nothing. It was established that they were not firearms but toys which can fire blank ammunition,” the NPA said at the man’s initial court appearance.

Blanks are firearm cartridges that, when fired, do not shoot a projectile like a bullet or pellet, but generate a muzzle flash and an explosive sound like a normal gunshot would.

Lawyers for the two men will tell the court that the toy guns were for the training of security guards. Gunda is a manager at Gemak Security company in Harare.

“My clients will plead not guilty to the charge. CID homicide has compiled a ballistics report which revealed that the guns were toys. So the matter remains that of smuggling. However, the accused were nowhere near the border so they could not have smuggled the toys,” defence lawyer Rene Kuchidza said.

Magistrate Dennis Mangosi re

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