The Siavonga magistrates’ court has convicted and sentenced a 24 year old man to six months imprisonment with hard labour after finding him guilty of being in possession of marijuana, a psychotropic substances. Siavonga magistrate, Bathromeo Kaonga slapped the six months sentence on Lucky Shamahoko who was facing one count of trafficking in psychotropic substance contrary to section six Cap 96 of the laws of Zambia. The court however suspended the six months sentence slapped on Shamahoko on condition that he does not indulge himself in any psychotropic substance related offences.
Particulars of the offence are that Shamahoko of Machavika village in Chief Chipepo’s area in Siavonga district, on 25th December 2011 in Machavika did traffic in psychotropic substance namely marijuana without authority. The court further recorded that when the food and drugs laboratory at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka analysed the substance, it confirmed that it was marijuana which weighed 2.5 gramms.
Shamahoko admitted the charge and said he was using the marijuana as medicine to treat his young brother who had an ear problem. He told the court that his grandmother advised him to use marijuana as medicine saying it was the best drug for ear problems. In mitigation, Shamahoko pleaded for court’s lenience saying he was a double orphan and looks after his siblings.
However, the magistrate said the offence committed was a serious one which carries maximum sentence of up to 25 years. Magistrate Kaonga said the nature of the offence committed was on the increase in the area. He observed that considering the age of the convict and the quantity of the substance found in his possession, he decided to give him a second chance.
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