ACTIVIST CALLS FOR JUSTICE FOR JOHN.
In a twist of invents The Centre for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) is set to appeal the eight year jail sentence given to John who was found with aver 70 plastic bags of cannabis sativa weighing 134 kilograms.
A storm is raging on social media following the recent sentence of 8 years imprisonment to a 19 year old Mussa John who has been sentenced for being found with 78 plastic bags of Indian hemp commonly known as Chamba.
Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court in Limbe sentenced John a development that has forced the activist’s to comment.
According to Limbe Police publicist, inspector Patrick Mussa, the convict pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal possession of illicit drug and pleaded leniency on the grounds that he is young and has siblings and parents who he looks after.
The state through Inspector Mussa asked the court to grant John a custodial sentence, due to the quantity of hermp the man had.
Martha Chizuma Anti Corruption Bureau Director, musician Kalawe and Pemphero Mphande Social Media activist are some of the gurus who are demanding for justice for the young man.
In 2020 Malawi passed a bill decriminalising cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, almost five years after a motion to legalise industrial hemp was adopted.
The country follows in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Lesotho, neighbouring south-east African states that have legalised medicinal cannabis, as well as South Africa, where medicinal and recreational use was decriminalised in 2018.
Meanwhile, John has been on the wrong side of the law, according to other activist they they think government made less or no sensitisation and civic education on how to differentiate between industrial hemp and cannabis.
The issue of John is an indication of different cases of this sort happening across the country.
but activist are claiming that the sentence is very punitive and disastrous to the boys life.
According to Chizuma posting on her official Facebook page says the boy is poor and Malawian, I guess those are additional crimes he committed.
Otherwise Justice has failed in the material case.
“The learned colleagues erred in both law and fact when he arrived on such a sentence” says Chizuma.
Another Social Media activist Mphande, writes “Free 19 year old Mussa John”
Mphande borrowed a leaf from one the lines used in Martse’s songs which says Ku ndende ndi kwa anthu okuba nkhuku basi, Mabwana okuba dollar aziyenda mwaufulu basi, meaning prisons accommodate the less privileged and vulnerable, those with money do not see themselves behind bars even after commiting an offense.