Eleven Chinese have been discharged by the Chipata Magistrates’ Court in a case where they were charged with unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 6.2 kilogrammes at Eastern Province ZNBC’s construction site near Msekera area.
The eleven Chinese nationals – Ten Mao, 46 (Mechanic), Yu Riping, 41
(Assistant manager), Sun Shengzi, 51 (Shef), Qiang Xuehua, 51 (Carpenter),
Huang Hongbing, 39 (Carpenter), Jia Yinsheng, 50 (Carpenter), Kue Yunnai, 51 (Carpenter), Tang Zhangechang, 24 (Engineer), Zhang Yijian, 39 (Mechanic), Xu Yihai, 51 (Foreman), Chen Minqiang, 28 (Civil engineer).
The accused were initially 12 but one of them, Qi Jianlong, was fined K2
000 by magistrate Mercy Chabu in January after he pleaded
guilty to the charge.
When the matter came up on Monday for trial, the state applied that the matter be discontinued due to the fact that one accused person, Qi, admitted the offence and left them with insufficient evidence to prosecute the other 11.
The state said it needed more evidence and that it could not investigate the matter while the case was still ongoing.
And Magistrate Chabu granted the state’s application and discharged the eleven accused persons.
“I have taken into consideration the state’s application and I will allow the application although I am not fully satisfied with the reasons for the withdrawal but based on the fact that the matter
requires a further investigation, I cannot deny the application,” she said.
Magistrate Chabu also gave back the Chinese their passports.
According to facts of the matter regarding the convict presented by public prosecutor Sinjambi Mubita on January 10, 2019, Drug Enforcement Commission officer, on December 7, 2018, received information to the effect that there was a person who was dealing in psychotropic substances at the ZNBC construction site along Msoro road.
Mubita stated that acting on the information, DEC officers visited the construction site and found the accused.
He stated that Qi was interviewed by DEC officers who uprooted the cannabis plants that the convicted planted before arresting him.
Upon his own admission of guilt in court, Qi paid the fine on the same day while eleven others who pleaded not guilty were granted K5, 000 cash bail each.