The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a University of Zambia student to one-year-six-months imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in 800.7 grams of marijuana.

Kasongo Chizelu, 22, had pleaded guilty to trafficking in psychotropic substances before magistrate Mwandu Sakala’s court.

It was alleged that on August 10, 2018, Kasongo trafficked in 800.7grams of marijuana, a herbal product of cannabis, sativa, without authority.

Facts in this matter are that on August 10, the Drug Enforcement Commission officers received information that the UNZA chief of security had a male student in his custody.

The said student, Kasongo, was apprehended while the university’s security officers were conducting routine checks in hostels.

He was found in possession of 79 suspected satchets of drugs.

“Kasongo was found on the roof top of Africa six hostel in possession of 79 suspected sachets of drugs. DEC officers went to the university where its security handed over Kasongo and suspected drugs to the law enforcers. When shown the suspected drugs, Kasongo admitted ownership. DEC officers apprehended Kasongo and seized the suspected drugs which were later taken to the University Teaching Hospital and drug control laboratory,” read the facts.

“A public analyst identified and confirmed the suspected drugs to be marijuana, a herbal product of cannabis sativa weighing 800.7grammes. Katongo admitted the charge and was formally arrested.”

And in mitigation, Kasongo asked the court not to send him to prison saying he had realised the negative effect of marijuana on his life.

He asked the court to give him a fine as he was a fourth and final year student remaining with a few months before graduating.

“I have realized that marijuana caused destruction to my life,” he said.

And passing judgement, magistrate Sakala said Kasongo deserved leniency but drug trafficking was a serious offence attracting a 25 year maximum jail term.

She said the amount of drugs he was found with was substantial.

“The way you packaged the drugs shows that they were meant for sale. I sentence you to one-year six months imprisonment with hard labour from the date of your arrest,” magistrate Sakala said as the accused wept.