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The Dowa First Grade Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 40-year-old man, Maloni Sikaliyoti, to 20 months imprisonment with hard labour for cultivating and being found in possession of Indian Hemp commonly known as Chamba.

The court through state prosecutor Sergeant Joseph Banda heard that the convict committed the offence on February 12, 2021 at Mangadzi Village in Dowa District.

He further told the court that the convict was arrested following a tip off from well-wishers that he was cultivating the illicit drug at his garden.

Following a tip off, police rushed to the house of the convict and upon searching in his house, police seized a basin of loose Indian Hemp and later the convict led police officers to his garden and uprooted plants of Indian Hemp.

Appearing before court, the convict pleaded guilty to two charges of cultivating and found in possession of Indian Hemp.

In mitigation, the convict asked the court for leniency sentence, saying he has a family and that he gets enough power to work in the garden when he smoke the Indian Hemp.

However, in his submission, state prosecutor Sergeant Joseph Banda pleaded with the court to pass a stiff penalty to the offender, saying the offences committed are serious in nature.

Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri concurred with the state’s submission for a stiff penalty hence sentenced the convict to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour cultivating Indian Hemp and 20 months imprisonment with hard labour for found in possession of Indian Hemp. The sentences will run concurrently.

Maloni Sikakiyoti comes from Mangadzi Village in the area of Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa District.

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