Isaura Masinga, 40, of Germistone, South Africa, was dragged to court yesterday where she appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza facing a possession of cocaine charge.
Immediately after her arrest, she was referred to Carestream for an ultra sound scan at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, which confirmed the presence of ingested “body packs” in her abdomen.
“The abnormal bowl related masses with shadowing seen in the left lumbar region may be ingested body packs. However, the use of ultrasound scan in detecting ingested body packs is very limited. Further assessment with CT scan is suggested,” reads the comment on the scan report.
When court proceedings commenced, Masinga’s lawyer, Nickiel Mushangwe, challenged his client’s placement on remand on the basis that she had been charged on allegations of possessing a substance that the State had failed to recover from her.
He slammed the State for relying on an ultrasound scan at a time his client is pregnant. He argued the scan may have picked the foetus.
Prosecutor Michael Reza argued that the tip-off had assured detectives that Masinga’s preferred mode of transporting the drugs was by ingesting.
“The intelligence received by detectives was to the effect that there is a South African woman on an Emirates flight bringing in cocaine to Zimbabwe. They were further advised that if they failed to recover cocaine from her luggage or person, it would be because she preferred transporting it through her stomach.
“ . . . that was when police checked on the plane’s passenger list and discovered that the accused person was on that flight”.
The application was dismissed by Chimbodza. Masinga was subsequently placed on remand.
Reza then moved to apply for Masinga’s toilet visits to be closely monitored.
“While the accused person is in custody, she must not be allowed to visit the toilet on her own and must be given a bucket and, whatever she passes out must be kept by the police,” Reza said.
Mushangwe objected to the application, arguing that it infringed on his client’s rights to privacy and dignity.
Chimboza granted the application and advised Mushangwe that evidence would also exonerate his client if no cocaine substance was found.
The matter was subsequently remanded to May 12.