AMID acknowledges God with a grin. Tie Mwape, 81, was cleared of a charge of trafficking in psychoactive chemicals, a crime for which there is no possibility of posting bail.
Mwape was released from detention after being held since November of last year after Lusaka magistrate Davies Chibwili found him not guilty of trafficking in 68 grammes of marijuana.
The prosecution team failed, according to the court, to specify how much marijuana was found on him.
The court moreover decided that it had not been established, as required by law, whether the marijuana discovered with the accused included more than 0.3 grams of more than 0.3 percent of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The main psychotropic ingredient in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol.
At the accused’s home in Kavumba Village, Waterfalls, Lusaka, on November 26, 2018, allegations of trafficking in psychotropic substances without a license were made.
When brought to court, the defendant admitted, but he later changed his plea on the counsel of Legal Aid Board attorneys Petronella Kafumbe and Douglas Njolomba.
Four witnesses have testified, according to the evidence, that Chelstone Police Station officers were looking into a case of suspected stolen item possession on the relevant day.
To look for the allegedly stolen goods, the officers were led by a suspect to Mwape’s home, but their search turned up nothing.
However, while searching the accused’s home, the authorities discovered some possible drugs.
However, while searching, the detectives came up 11 balls of what they believed to be marijuana, which led them to decide to capture Mwape.
In connection with the alleged drugs discovered at his home, the police officers later turned over Mwape to the Drug Enforcement Commission for additional investigation.
However, the court learned throughout the trial that the public analyst did not do the legally required test to determine whether the 68 grams of marijuana contained more than 0.3 percent of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The court also heard that there was insufficient equipment to be used for proving the quantitative value of the medications.
In rendering her decision, magistrate Chibwili determined that the prosecution had failed to establish two crucial factors that go into calculating the weight and concentration of THC.
He cleared the defendant and pointed out that the fact that the narcotics had been discovered with him had led to his release on a technicality.
“It is not that you were not found with the psychotropic substance, it is just that the state did not establish certain ingredients,” magistrate Chibwili said.
Mwape, who was represented by Legal Aid Board attorneys Petronella Kafumbe and Douglas Njolomba outside of court, grinned as he was surrounded by a throng of supporters.
He informed the media that he was thankful to God for his release and was excited to return to his family.