Malawi must legalise Indian hemp, says Ras Judah: ‘Top officials sell it’

Leader of Rastafarian for Unity, Ras Judah, says it’s time Chamba (Indian-hemp) drug was legalised for the benefit of the whole country.

He claimed   top government officials in the country are engaged in trafficking Indian-hemp.

“Haven’t you ever wondered that weed is an illegal trade but yet Malawi is one of the leading exporters of ganja to Europe, America and Asia? How does that happen?

“I will tell you: Using their power and positions, they get thousands of bags of weed passing illegally on roadblocks and borders when a common man like you and me get our hundred bags burned just to paint a rosy picture that they are doing something on it,” said Judah.

Ras Judah: Yeah man, legalise Cannabis
Ras Judah: Yeah man, legalise Cannabis

He was commenting in reaction to the burning of confiscated Indian hemp in Balaka district.

The Rastafarians argue that smoking the drug locally known as ‘chamba’ is part of their religious doctrine which must be respected and upheld.

But Cannabis is illegal in Malawi and police are sparing no one, Rasta or non-Rasta, in their crackdown on suspects.

The movement claims they are also Malawians who participate in the development of the country and should be treated equally.

He condemned the burning of Indian hemp which he said was the work of the devil, didn’t provide proof of his claims that Malawi officials deal in cannabis.

But he went on: “You see, I can challenge you, these people know the importance of [Chamba] and most of these high ranking officials are in this business.”

Malawi’s Chamba is said to be highly potent and fetches top dollar on that black market oversees.

“I must bring to your attention that Jah who is King of Kings gave us this plant. When Solomon asked for wisdom, Jah thought of something through which to impart that wisdom to him and that’s when he created weed,” he said.

Another controversial issue the Rastas want is to allow their children to attend classes in dreadlocks.

But Minister of Education Eunice Kazembe has said they can’t allow the practice, saying doing so would send a wrong message to other pupils.

She said Malawi school rules and regulations do not allow children to have plaited hair or dreadlocks.

Ras Judah said dreadlocks are a component of their religion and thus their children have a right to enroll in government schools, saying they will seek an audience with President Joyce Banda “so that we should be assisted.”

He said: “Yeah man, Rasta like any citizen has a right to education. Why discriminate against our children”

Rastafarians sought the intervention from the ministry of education after authorities at a school in Thyolo booted out Rasta children from school because they wore dreads.

Ras Judah said the late president Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika had instructed school heads in his home area- Thyolo- to allow Rasta children in government schools.

He said the continued ban of their children from school is depriving them of a right to education, contravening the UN charter on the rights of children.

The much-maligned sect also wants the Head of State to extend presidential appointments to members of Rastafarian community who may be equally competent and qualified for such positions.

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