A Civil society organisation says Malawi Government should not appoint Mike Tyson as the country’s cannabis brand ambassador because he was convicted of rape in 1992 and remains a registered sex offender
The grouping, Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), has issued a statement in reaction to letter by Minister of Agriculture Minister, Lobin Lowe, in which Lowe asks Tyson to become the country’s ambassador for cannabis.
CPA acting director, Kondwani Munthali, said in the statement that Government has made a mistake by offering Tyson the role because the former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion was convicted and jailed of rape and serious violence of an 18-year-old woman in 1992.
“He remains on the sex offenders register in Arizona and Florida,” Munthali said.
“The CPA is failing to comprehend why Malawi would want to have a convicted rapist as its brand ambassador, more especially, at this time, when efforts to curb violence against women are part of the government agenda.
“As a nation that is working tirelessly to stem out gender-based violence, we cannot be seen to associate ore celebrate people of Mike Tyson calibre as a face of promoting any of our products.
“We wish to believe that the letter is fake and such appointment was never considered. Or if it is true, it will be withdrawn with immediate effect,” added Munthali in the statement.
In the letter to Tyson dated November 1, Minister Lowe said the cannabis industry is complex requiring collaboration and Malawi does not want to go it alone.
“I would therefore like to appoint you, Mr Mike Tyson, as Malawi’s Cannabis Branch ambassador,” Lowe said.
Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson, Gracian Lungu, said the United States Cannabis Association is facilitating the deal with Tyson.
He added that Tyson was expected to be in the country last week but the trip was postponed as the Ministry is yet to finalise preparations for his engagements in Malawi.
Tyson, who is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, Ranch, has a 40-acre cannabis ranch in California, United States and in October this year he launched a new Cannabis company called Tyson 2.0.