AK47 gunman denied bail

A BULAWAYO man, who was found in possession of an AK47 rifle, will continue to languish in remand prison after he was denied bail by a Bulawayo magistrate, who ruled that he was a flight risk.

Ame Mpala (35) of Pumula East, who was represented by Kholwani Ngwenya, however, denied the charge of illegal possession of a dangerous weapon as defined under section 28(1)(e) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23, when he appeared before magistrate Jeconiah Ncube yesterday.

His lawyer filed an application for bail, which was dismissed by the court. Mpala is expected to appear in court again on May 15 for trial.

His lawyer said he was contemplating an appeal against denial of bail.

Allegations against Mpala are that on March 20, officers from Hillside Police Station, were manning a security roadblock at the 22km peg along the Bulawayo-Gwanda Road.

At around 8pm, the team stopped a black Toyota Wish being driven by Wingstone Muguta of Mahatshula South in Bulawayo on suspicion that it was involved in the commission of crime, wherein they allegedly discovered the AK47 assault rifle with erased serial numbers.

The butt of the firearm was reportedly detached from the stalk. They also reportedly recovered a 30-round magazine loaded with five live rounds. Mpala was arrested and he allegedly implicated a police officer identified as David Fugao (42) as the source of the firearm, which he reportedly said was used for poaching.

The accused allegedly told the police that when he was arrested, he was on his way to return the gun to Fugao, an inspector and officer in charge at the Matabeleland North provincial armoury.

On his arrest, Fugao allegedly admitted knowing Mpala, but denied having supplied him with the gun. He has since appeared in court and his case is still pending.

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