Malawi Police officers accused of forcing Mussa to make fake confession


Mother of 19-year-old Mussa John has said her child was arrested after being found at a house where there was Cannabis Sativa (Chamba) but the drugs were not his. The mother has accused police officers of beating up Mussa and forcing him to make fake confession.

Magistrate Byson Masonga last week sentenced Mussa to eight years in prison after the teenager “pleaded guilty” to the charge of being found in possession of 134 kilogrammes of the illegal drugs without permit.

An official report by Limbe Police indicate that Mussa was arrested on June 15 after he was found with 78 plastic bags of Chamba “in his house”

In an interview posted on Mikozi Facebook Page, Mussa’s mother said she conducts business and usually leaves Mussa at home to take care of his sister who is a person with disability.

Mussa’s mother and sister

On the day he was arrested, Mussa went to his friend’s house. His friend later excused himself, saying he was going out for some minutes and Mussa should wait for him.

However, a few minutes later police officers appeared and demanded that he should open the door for them. But Mussa told them he was not the owner of the house and advised them to also wait for the owner.

The officers, however, broke into the house and after searching, they found the cannabis sativa packed in plastic bags.

“They then started assaulting Mussa, saying he was not saying the truth. They arrested him and took him to police,” she said.

According to the mother, she was informed about the arrest by the alleged owners of the drugs but they were strangers to her at the time. They told her that Mussa was not selling Chamba but was just in the wrong place at the time.  They also assured the woman that Mussa would be out the next day.

When she went to police, officers said they would release Mussa after the woman found the owner of the illicit drugs, in effect demanding that she do their work.

“When I complained that I do not know the person, officers said I should just go and search for the person.

“I came back to Kachere and asked around but did not find the information I needed,” the mother said.

The officers also refused to release Mussa on police bail. They later told the mother to go to court on June 23 for hearing.

However, Mussa was taken to court on June 21, according to his mother, where police said he “pleaded guilty” to the charge of illegal possession of cannabis sativa and was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail.

“I believe my child was threatened to say that the drugs were his and that they were found in his house,” she said.

She also complained that she now walks every day to visit Mussa at Chichiri Prison and her business has stalled as she now looks after Mussa’s 14-year-old sister who is a person with disability. Mussa’s mother has four children in total and her husband died in 2018.

The eight year sentence handed to Mussa by magistrate Masonga has shocked Malawians considering that people convicted of similar offences are only fined and released. Recently, Castel managing director Herve Milhade was found with Chamba at his house and was fined K1 million. There have also been cases of transporters found with cannabis sativa who were only ordered to pay  fines.

Meanwhile, human rights activists and some lawyers have joined forces to fight for  Mussa and there are plans to apply for bail pending review of Masonga’s ruling.


Teenager gets 8 years in jail over 134 kilograms of chamba

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  1. Pride Msuku

    You have hit the nail on the head! Malawi Police Officers, especially, in the investigation department lack investigative skills. They need additional training otherwise innocent people will continue being locked up in jail for nothing.

    The question is does the house belong to Mussa? Is this not a case of entrapment?

  2. But sometime our police service need to be very serious on investigating the matter. This kind of activity has left lot of questions to malawians more especially where did mussa took that chamba? And where was him supplying to? Where are other people involved in the process? How he transported that cannabis to that said his house?

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