TWENTY-EIGHT out of the 294 alleged drug dealers from Lusaka’s Chibolya yesterday appeared in the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court for trafficking and possession of various quantities of marijuana.
When the matter came up for plea before magistrate Humphrey Chitalu, Joseph Banda, 42, a trader at Lusaka’s Soweto market said he understood the charge and admitted to being in possession of 14.3 grammes of marijuana.
Banda said he was found with marijuana because he was using the drug for treatment of an anal infection which he was suffering from.
He said the drug was prescribed to him by a traditional healer.
Another accused person, Danny Siwale, 22, said he understood the charge and admitted to the offence.
He said he was using marijuana for an ear infection and that he did not know that it was against the law to be found in possession of 182 grammes of the substance.
Douglas Zambwe, 35, an unemployed resident of Lusaka’s John Laing township, said he was on his way to buy marijuana when he was arrested.
He said he had not yet bought the drug when he was arrested.
Magistrate Chitalu said the law prescribes that a person who finds themselves in circumstances where there is buying and selling of drugs will be charged with trafficking.
The notorious Chibolya township was last Thursday raided by a combined security team in an operation that netted 294 suspects.
The team of police and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers combed the crime-prone township and arrested those found with cannabis and other drugs in an operation that lasted from midnight on Wednesday to late Thursday.
The operation, led by Lusaka Province commissioner of police Lemmy Kajoba, was aimed at ridding Chibolya of illicit activities.
“We want to rid this township of illegal activities and bring sanity,” Mr Kajoba said in a post-raid interview.
Those arrested were taken to Lusaka’s Edwin Imboela Stadium for screening.
Police in riot gear sealed off the township, searched homes and hauled bags full of dagga.
The officers, armed with teargas canisters, batons and rifles, swept through the dreaded “Gazza” street of Chibolya, where they faced minimum resistance under the cover of the night.
With the aid of search lights, the police officers went into targeted homes and seized the drugs.
Zambia Daily Mail
Chibolya – Photo credit – ThePost