Malaysian Citizen Arrested for Ammunition Possession at Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls International Airport

March 5, 2024
A Zimbabwean man was arrested for unlawful possession of explosives in Sabie Mpumalanga | Report Focus News
A Zimbabwean man was arrested for unlawful possession of explosives in Sabie Mpumalanga

In a series of incidents underscoring heightened security measures at Zimbabwean airports, two foreign nationals have been apprehended in separate cases for unlawful possession of ammunition. The arrests, occurring within a span of just over 24 hours at different airports, have sparked renewed attention on airport security protocols and the legal repercussions of carrying prohibited items through customs.

The most recent incident involved 36-year-old Malaysian national, Lucy Kabethi Wanjiku, who was detained at the Victoria Falls International Airport on Saturday, 02 March 2024. Wanjiku’s arrest came on the heels of the detention of a South African national under similar circumstances. Authorities were alerted to the contraband in Wanjiku’s luggage when a routine scan by the baggage scanner revealed a live 9mm round of ammunition among her possessions.

Following her arrest, Wanjiku was presented before the Victoria Falls Magistrates Court on charges of unlawful possession of ammunition. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) disclosed in a statement on Tuesday, 05 March, that Wanjiku’s application for bail had been denied, with the court finalizing the trial swiftly. A verdict on her case is anticipated tomorrow, marking a rapid progression from arrest to judgment.

This incident was closely preceded by the arrest of 25-year-old South African, Cuan Reed Govender, at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on Friday, 01 March. Govender was taken into custody after security personnel discovered five live rounds of ammunition in his baggage during a search. He faced charges not only for the ammunition but also for causing a security scare by allegedly alerting FastJet of a fictitious bomb/firearm threat targeting Zimbabwe’s airports, specifically the Victoria Falls International Airport.

Govender, who was attempting to board an Airlink flight to South Africa, claimed the ammunition was an oversight, left in his bag from a visit to the shooting range. Despite his defense, he appeared before the Harare Magistrates Court, facing serious consequences for his actions. On Monday, 04 March, Govender was fined US$300 for the unlawful possession of ammunition.

These incidents underline the strict security measures in place at Zimbabwean airports and the severe penalties for violations. The rapid legal proceedings following such breaches emphasize Zimbabwe’s commitment to maintaining safe and secure air travel environments, particularly in light of potential threats to public safety.