Police in Harare on Wednesday raided a house being rented out by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs (Monitoring and Implementation of Government Programmes) Dr Joram Gumbo and recovered illicit brew popularly known as “musombodhiya”.
Musombodhiya is street language used to refer to an illicit brew composed of ethanol or methanol.
The minister’s tenant was arrested while police recovered five drums of ethanol and empty bottles labelled “Two Keys”.
They also recovered a punch imported from Mozambique.
The house at 19 Stellenbosch, Sunridge in Mabelreign had been turned into a brewery.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest of the woman and the recovery of the substances.
He said Minister Gumbo was the one who tipped off the police.
“Minister Gumbo came to us reporting that his tenants were involved in the business of brewing illicit beer.
“Police details raided the house and arrested one woman, who is now in custody.
“The woman is implicating her husband, who is yet to be apprehended,” he said.
In an interview with ZBC News, Minister Gumbo expressed shock at how his tenants had turned his house into an illegal liquor centre.
“This is my house, I left here in the early 1990s and it was being rented by these people who have turned it into a brewery.
“I only discovered this when I wanted to drill a borehole for them, but unfortunately, these people have destroyed my house through these shoddy dealings.
“I have come here to clear my name because some may report otherwise.
“The people responsible have been arrested,” he was quoted saying.
Although the actual number of suspects who were arrested could not be ascertained by last night, sources close to the investigations said police received a tip-off.
When they went to the house, they discovered some people who were drunk.
They were all taken to Mabelreign Police Station for further questioning and they are likely to be charged with unlawful possession of harmful liquids.
In 2018, a Chitungwiza man was fined $40 for possessing 240 bottles of “musombodhiya”.
Nyaradzai Mazona (33) pleaded guilty when he appeared before magistrate Mr Oliver Mudzongachiso charged with unlawful possession of harmful liquids.
The prosecutor, Mrs Edith Chitapa, proved that on June 5, 2018 at around 9am, a constable Sithole was deployed at Seke depot, manning a roadblock when she stopped a motor vehicle and searched it.
She found 240 bottles x 200ml of the illicit alcohol brew and immediately arrested Mazona.