HomeLocal NewsMbanje smoker takes case to Supreme Court

Mbanje smoker takes case to Supreme Court

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A self-proclaimed Harare mbanje smoker, Amos Mupfudza, is challenging his arrest for using the banned drug and has taken the matter to the Supreme Court.

Mupfudza (39) alleges his arrest on January 22 and subsequent torture for possession of the drug infringed on his constitutional rights.

He was charged with three counts of contravening Section 157(i)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9,23.

But in his application to the Supreme Court, Mupfudza is challenging the classification of dagga as a dangerous drug and criminalisation of its possession, arguing his Rastafarian religion allowed him to partake of the drug.

“Rastafarianism is a recognised religion. The Rastafarians consider dagga a holy herb which they use in a variety of forms in order to communicate with their Creator,” reads part of his submission.

“The Rastafarians have a genuine constitutional entitlement to have their religious practices protected in the same manner as Christians and Jews or Muslims.”

Mupfudza added: “There is no tenable legal justification why our criminal code criminalises the possession and use of dagga when such substances that have similar effects such as alcohol are legal and available everywhere.”

He says his right to a fair trial was likely to be infringed as there was no way the State can dismiss the illegal manner the investigations were carried out.

He alleges he was tortured by police officers when he was in detention and made to sign a false confession or face further torture.

“The accused alleges that the conduct of the police on arrest and during the detention violated his fundamental rights in a manner and to such an extent that it is no longer possible for him to have a fair trial as guaranteed in terms of the Constitution,” reads part of the submission.

“The accused was also threatened by the police that they would make sure he would not be granted bail if he did not confess and plead guilty to the charges levelled against him.

“The sadistic and brutal torture by the police is unjustifiable and constitutionally repugnant and as such should be frowned upon by the courts,” says Mupfudza.

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