‘I didn’t know dagga was illegal’

Police arrest handcuffs arrested jail
Police arrest handcuffs

A 21-YEAR-OLD man of Luangwa township in Kitwe has told the Kitwe Magistrate’s Court that he did not know that selling marijuana is an offence.
This is in a case in which Frederick Besa was jointly charged with Lloyd Mwenya for trafficking in a psychotropic substance.

Besa admitted the charge when he appeared for plea before magistrate Densen Muchaba last Thursday but Mwenya pleaded not guilty.
Mwenya was subsequently discharged under Section 88 (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
Facts before the court in respect of Besa are that on June 29 this year around 14:30 hours, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers on duty in Luangwa township apprehended Besa whom they suspected of selling marijuana at his makeshift stall.
The DEC officers searched Besa’s stall and found him with 10 balls of suspected marijuana.
The suspected marijuana was taken for chemical analysis at the Food and Drugs Control Laboratory in Lusaka and it was confirmed to be marijuana weighing 36 grammes.
Besa was arrested and charged with the subject offence.
Mr Muchaba convicted Besa on his own admission of the charge and the facts.
In mitigation, Besa told the court that he would never deal in drugs again.
“I am asking the court to forgive me and exercise leniency on me. I did not know that it was an offence to sell drugs,” Besa said.
Mr Muchaba said Besa is a first offender who is entitled to the court’s leniency but that cases of drug abuse are on the rise.
Besa is expected to be sentenced this week.

Zambia Daily Mail