The Ndola Magistrate Court has sentenced a 19-year-old boy to two years imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in marijuana.
This is in a matter where three people of the same house were charged with trafficking in psychotropic substances.
Blessings Lupaka 19, Daniella Lupaka 25, a teacher, and Isabelle Lupaka 49, a housewife, are alleged to have on April 6, 2021, in Ndola, jointly and whilst acting together, trafficked in psychotropic substances namely 2,028.57 grams of marijuana, a herbal product of cannabis sativa without lawful authority.
When the matter came up for plea before Ndola Principal Resident Magistrate Obbister Musukwa,
Blessings pleaded guilty while his sister and his mother denied the charge.
Magistrate Musukwa then gave the three accused some time to liaise with their defense lawyer from the Legal Aid.
Facts are that, on April 30, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers received information
that there was a bus coming from Lusaka with a black plastic bag that contained marijuana.
“Around 13:00 hours when the bus arrived at Broadway bus station, Blessings collected the plastic bag and that was how DEC officer arrested him. In a further search at his home, some marijuana was found in his bedroom,” read the facts sheet in brief.
In mitigation, his lawyer said Blessings is only 19 years old who is very remorseful of his actions.
Magistrate Musukwa noted the mitigation but said cases of this nature are on the increase in the Ndola district.
“You could have thought of this before you acted. You had enough time to move from home and conceal the other drugs in your bedroom. It is my considered position that I impose a custodial sentence to deter other offenders. At 19, he could have engaged in better activities than involving in drugs. I sentence you to two years imprisonment with hard labour,” Magistrate Musukwa said.
Later the state applied to have the second (sister), and third (mother) accused to be discharged as the state does further investigations.
Magistrate Musukwa then discharged the two warning them that a discharge is not an acquittal and that they can be re-arrested once the police have other evidence.