22 February 2018
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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:58

Court to dispose 56 bags of Indian hemp

Written by  Anjoya Mwanza
Offloading Chamba bags - Pic by Anjoya Mwanza. Offloading Chamba bags - Pic by Anjoya Mwanza.

Nkhotakota, October 10, 2017: Senior Resident Magistrate (SRM) Court sitting at Nkhunga in Nkhotakota says it will dispose of 56 bags of cannabis sativa commonly known as Chamba on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at Lumbadzi in Lilongwe.

The drug belonging to Simon Muyira of Isaac Nyondo Village, Traditional Authority Mwaulambya in Chitipa district weighs 1, 566, 000 grammes.

The court admitted it planned to dispose of the drug on Monday but failed due to bad weather, resources and time among other reasons.

“The disposal needs cool weather and quite area with a lot of fuel. We need to have ample time for the exercise,” one of the court officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

This transpired after hearing a case in which Muyira is answering a charge of being found in possession of Indian Hemp Contrary to section 19 (1) of Dangerous Drugs Act as read with regulations 4 (d) of dangerous Drugs Act.

Parading as witness in court, Chrispin Zimtambira, of Nkhunga Police Station said on August 6,2017, his office was tipped off by well-wishers that minibus registration number CP 3581 had gone to Chinkhuti area in the same district to collect the drug.

“Police followed the minibus only to be found with Muyira who had 56 bags of Indian hemp packed in his minibus ready to be transported to a destination known to himself. After being questioned, the suspect confessed that he was indeed in possession of the drug,” he said.

Another witness, Masautso Bwanali of Nkhunga Police working under the drugs and poisons department confirmed in court that a test was conducted and it confirmed that it was indeed cannabis sativa.

Presiding over the case, Senior Resident Magistrate (SRM), Shyreen Yona denied the suspect bail saying that the quantity of the drug and gravity of evidence presented against him in court makes the case grievous.

“The court will parade a final witness from Chitedze Research Station on Friday and the judgement will be passed the same day,” she said.

The SRM explained that if found guilty the maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of K20 million or in default spend a life imprisonment.

“The New Conversions Act clearly indicates that anyone found in possession of 50 kilograms or above of Indian hemp shall be fined an amount not exceeding K20 million or serve a life sentence in prison,” Yona told the court.

Cases of being found in possession of Indian hemp are rampant in Nkhotakota but this attracted the attention of many because of the quantity of the drug.

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