Zambia: Sinkamba requests that President Hichilema pardon all cannabis-related prisoners.

The Green Party has asked President Hichilema to pardon 7,000 cannabis-related offenders in prison, claiming that the president knows the conditions of the prisons better than he does and that he should release all 7,000 cannabis-related offenders to decongest them, adding that this is in accordance with the powers of the prerogative of mercy.

Mr Sinkamba contends that, unlike assault, which results in injuries and permanent scars, cannabis-related offences are no worse than prostitution, pimping, loitering, and operating brothels or shebeens.

“Ironically, cannabis offences are typically victimless offences. There is no victim involved, like is the case with murder and manslaughter, where someone loses a life consequent to the commission of the crime. Nor are cannabis offences like assault, where there is a victim who sustains injuries and permanent scars,” said Sinkamba.

“Most importantly, with the 19th May 2021 enactment of the Cannabis Act No. 33 of 2021; Industrial Hemp Act No. 34 of 2021; and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act No.35 of 2021, it is imperative for Zambia to start afresh on the cannabis-related offences.”

Sinkamba said the pardoning of the said inmates will be very good for the nation.

“In view of the foregoing, I make an earnest appeal to President Bally (Hichilema) to consider releasing all the 7,000-plus cannabis-related offenders on his first list of prisoners to be released in the exercise of his powers of the prerogative of mercy.

“This will be very good for the nation because it not only signifies a fresh start due to the Nation’s new national approach to cannabis but also as means of genuine decongestion of prisons, which conditions President Bally knows better than I do,” said Sinkamba.

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