In what can be considered a blessing in disguise, the imprisoned Teenager Musa’s family can finally breathe a sigh of relief because both the corporate world and individual Malawians have stepped up to help the struggling family.
The plight of the family came to light after Musa, a 19-year-old Kachere native was apprehended and sentenced to 8 years in prison for possessing Cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana or Chamba in local parlance. When the incident occurred, Rodwell Lumbe, the host of the local talk show The Citizen, went to meet Mussa’s widowed mother at her rented home in Kachere to hear her version of events.
She explained how her son was not the owner of the cannabis because he had gone to visit a friend, and how the owner of the house was the one who was the owner of the aforementioned illegal products as she told the heartbreaking tale of her son. Later, she discovered that the child had been duped into admitting that the marijuana was his claiming he would be set free, for which the magistrate in Blantyre had found him guilty and given him an 8-year prison sentence.
The heavy punishment incited outrage among Malawians, who accused the judiciary of favoring those with wealth and status in the country over those without. They, Malawians on social media, questioned why Barrister Allan Ntata, who was found in possession of the same Sativa, was fined to MK100, 000 or served a sentence of less than a year, and one of the Castel Managers, who was found to have grown the Sativa, was also fined and by default sentenced to 12 months in prison, when a similar offense as claimed by Mussa resulted in a maximum of 8 years in prison.
Malawians were stunned to learn about the hardship of the Mussa family from their single mother, who described how Mussa was caring for her crippled 14-year-old sister when she left to fend for the family. The crippled sibling reportedly has no wheelchair at all, and when the disabled sister was captured on camera and the mother described her experience after Mussa was imprisoned, the entire country was moved.
As a response, Malawians have been providing help in both financially and kind, as organized through the social media organization Mikozi. Innobuild Limited Company donated a plot at Chileka to the Mussa family to build a house for the family with a clause for the house never to be sold by any member of the family in that it should belong to them or surviving members permanently. As of 1 pm local time, Malawians had contributed one million four hundred and sixty kwacha only. The Malawi Relief Fund UK has also donated WheelChair. Here is the link as provided by Mikozi facebook page if you want to donate: https://wa.me/265995880045?text=DonateToMussaFamily
Private practice attorney Alexious Kammangila has vowed to represent Mussa in order to have the case reconsidered. Following the aforementioned public outcry, it is also reported that the High Court of Malawi ordered that the file be sent to them for review of the sentencing.