Presidential advisor on Youth and Arts Lucius Banda has bemoaned Mussa John’s three-year jail term, barely two weeks after his fellow musician penned Malawi leader to free the teenager.
Banda believes Mussa was slapped with a lengthy jail term because he is poor. He argues that the justice system has been exercising lenience where wealthy people are involved.
“The Mussa John story makes me really sad and I wish I had the authority to grant him the leniency to set him free.
“I feel that injustice was served on the young man because the same courts have given suspended sentences and fines to other people who have been convicted on similar crimes, some even worse.
“Just last week, a Nigerian national was fined K1.5 million after he was found with cocaine.
“I feel that Mussa John is paying the price for being poor. And, we Malawians, his countrymen, have treated him badly,” said Banda in a Facebook post
Some Malawians have challenged the musician to pleas with President Lazarus Chakwera for John’s freedom.
Warge Dada Wanangwa Phiri commented, “You are the presidential advisor, talk to him.”
The magistrate court in Blantyre slapped Mussa with a 8-year jail term over illegal possession of 134 kilograms of Indian hemp in June. The sentence was reduced to 3 years by the high court early this month.
However, reduction of the convict’s jail sentence did not satisfy Malawians. Meanwhile, the youth are planning to hold a peaceful parade in Blantyre on 22 September, to demand his release.
Musician and politician Penjani ‘Fredokiss’ Kalua is spearheading the move.