The Blantyre magistrates Court on Thursday convicted and subsequently sentenced two men to six years imprisonment with hard labour for being found in possession of 560 kilograms of Indian hemp locally known as Chamba.
Chief Resident Magistrate, Thomson Ligowe jailed Jambo Jambo, 42, and his accomplice Boniface Chinthenga 40 years old after they pleaded not guilty to the charge of being found in possession of Cannabis Sativa contrary to Section 4 (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Regulations and 19 (1) of Dangerous Drugs Act.
Police prosecutor, Superintendent Moja Phiri told the court that the two were arrested by the police who mounted an adhoc roadblock at Green Corner along Chikwawa road in Blantyre.
Jambo was arrested on 23rd December, 2015 while his accomplice- who had escaped- was arrested a day later.
Phiri disclosed that 40 bags of Chamba were recovered from a lorry and a minibus the two were using to ferry the illegal substance.
The Indian hemp, the court was told, was firstly packed in the minibus driven by Chinthenga before being transferred to into the lorry driven by Jambo which had carried maize husks to be delivered in Nsanje district.
Chinthenga had managed to escape but was later on traced and arrested.
Magistrate Ligowe convicted the two after four witnesses testified against them including Doctor Moses Munthali, an analyst from Bvumbwe Research Station.
Jambo hails from Jambo village, T/A Mbenje in Nsanje while Chinthenga
comes from Ndalama village, T/A Chikowi in Zomba district.
Cultivating or selling of Indian hemp is illegal in Malawi though currently government is doing trials on industrial hemp as one of the strategies to boost the country’s ailing economy.