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No more lenience for drug trafficker

THE Ndola High Court has sentenced a 25-year-old second-time offender who was found selling marijuana at a bar, to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Before Judge Mary Mulanda last Thursday, was Boniface Mulenga, unemployed, of house number 23/80, in Mufulira’s Kantanshi, who was charged with trafficking in a psychotropic substance.
According to evidence, on January 7, this year in Mufulira, the accused did traffic in 510 grams of marijuana.
Facts before court are that officers from the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) got information that there was a man who was selling marijuana to bar patrons at Tonic in Mufulira’s Kamuchanga.
The court heard that the officers then set out to the said bar, and when they got there, they found the accused, but he hid the drugs in his pocket and socks. However, DEC officers found the drugs upon searching him.
Further, the court heard that the accused was apprehended and taken to Mufulira Police Station, while the suspected marijuana was sent to Lusaka for a chemical analysis at the Food and Drugs Control Laboratory where it was proved to be marijuana. The accused admitted having committed the offence.
“I have perused the record from the court below, and I am satisfied that they disclose the offence charged with. Based on your own admission of the facts as being correct, I find you guilty as charged and I accordingly convict you,” Ms Justice Mulanda said.
“I have heard what the learned counsel has said in mitigation to the sentence on your behalf. But being a second offender, my hands are tied as there is a mandatory sentence to this effect. I sentence you to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date you were arrested,” she said.
In mitigation, defence counsel Chiti Kabende pleaded with the court to be lenient on the convict, saying he was a young man, capa-ble of reforming.
He said Mulenga was married with one child.