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Cannabis Smoking Ministers Challenged

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
A group calling itself “Concerned Citizens” has issued a letter challenging Malawi cabinet ministers and members of parliament to go for a drug test, linking them to cannabis addiction; Nyasa Times has sourced the letter dated 18th July 2007.

The demand for a drug clean up follows a nationwide campaign launched last week encouraging Malawians to go for HIV/Aids testing – Health Minister Marjorie Ngaunje was first to test despite keeping a tight lid on her status.

“We have been puffing cannabis with some of the ministers and parliamentarians since university life, we want them to confess publicly about their drug addiction and announce steps towards quitting,” reads the letter which names Minister of Trade, Ken Lipenga and Minister of Transport, Henry Mussa as among cannabis puffers in the current President Bingu wa Mutharika’s government.

The letter also made an insinuation to some politicians in the legislature who puffs the hemp drug.Several named politicians contacted by Nyasa Times would not comment.

“Ligenga has been smoking cannabis from our university days, it is disparaging to note that he has not given up,” a letter reads.

“It is sad that instead of looking at our ministers as role models to the youths, Hon Mussa and Hon Lipenga continue to engage in cannabis smoking despite their ministerial position,” the letter says, challenging the named ministers to go for drug test if they despute the accusations.

“We will be exposing more politicians who are abusing drugs. There are those that smoke occasionally, we warn them to either quit or face the wrath of being exposed,” read the letter copied to President Mutharika among others.

The two top cabinet ministers could not be reached on their phones for an immediate comment.

In United Kingdom Ministers in the new Gordon Brown administration voluntarily revealed to have smoked “weed” when they were students.

A powerful minister of home office Ms Jacqui Smith told the BBC she had smoked it "just a few times," had "not particularly" enjoyed it and had not taken any other illegal drugs.

"I did break the law... I was wrong... drugs are wrong," Ms Smith, 44, added.

Former Malawi deputy agriculture minister, Joe Manduwa, in 2000 took a one-man campaign to legalise the growing of marijuana to parliament, saying the country stood to gain with such a move.

Heatherwick Ntaba the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general and Presidential chief political advisor is on record to have said the idea was worth considering.

According to drugs experts cannabis use has become chronic with an estimated one to two million people said to have smoked at one point. Chrissie Mwanza, of Resource Centre for Alcohol and Dangerous Drugs expressed concern about the negative influence the drug is having on the youth.



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Source: Afrique en ligne
Author: Charles Kufa
Contact: Afrique en ligne - Contact
Copyright: 2007 Afrique en ligne
Website: Malawi cannabis smoking ministers challenged
 
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