81-year-old Tie Mwape has filed a lawsuit against the State in the Constitutional Court in relation to his drug trafficking case, three months after his acquittal.
The grandfather is suing for damages after being wrongfully detained, arrested, and prosecuted.
Mr. Mwape requests that the court rule that his arrest, prosecution, and conviction—all of which occurred without establishing the presence of cannabis’ active element in the purported marijuana that was reportedly found in his possession—were unlawful, illegal, and void.
But that’s not all.
The petitioner, who was exonerated on a technicality, also requests a ruling that all drug trafficker arrests that violate Sections 2 and 15 (1), (2), and 16 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act are unlawful, void, and unconstitutional.
In addition, he requests a ruling declaring that possession of cannabis with a grade (value) of 0.3% is legal.
His claim is that 0.3 percent does not fall under the third schedule of the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act, which states that a product must contain more than 0.3 percent of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, in order to be classified as a psychotropic substance.
The elderly man was detained in the latter part of last year and suspected of unlicensed trafficking in psychoactive medications; the arrest took place on November 26 at the accused’s home.
However, the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court cleared Mr. Mwape of Kavuma Village, Chongwe, of drug trafficking in January of this year because the prosecution’s team was unable to quantify the precise amount of alleged marijuana found on him.
The magistrate determined that the prosecution failed to establish two crucial factors for calculating the amount and percentage of Delta THC in the drug the accused allegedly traded.