The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has unearthed over 100 tonnes of fresh cannabis in Kamwendo village of Mpika district in Muchinga province.
The contraband involved about 120 bags weighing more than six tonnes of loose cannabis have since been confiscated while the uprooting process of the fresh psychotropic plants has commenced in the same area.
DEC Public Relations Officer Kamufisa Manchishi, says the contraband was unearthed in three fields which were discovered after an intense joint operation involving the Department of National parks and Wildlife, Zambia Army and the Police
Mr. Manchishi stated in an interview with ZANIS in Kamwendo Village at the psychotropic plantation where the contraband was unearthed that 18 suspects have since been arrested.
The suspects are currently detained at Mpika police station waiting to appear in court soon.Among the suspects include Stanley Kazembe popularly known as ‘Satana’, a sub headman who is allegedly be key suspect behind the illegal cultivation of cannabis in the area.
“ The illegal plantation of cannabis is also believed to have been supplying the Copperbelt, Lusaka as well as Muchinga provinces in exchange for goods and other products, “ he said.
DEC has for this reason sounded a strong warning to farmers in the area involved in the illegal cultivation of cannabis to desist from engaging themselves in the illegal vice.
“ Whoever will be caught practicing the illegal cultivation of cannabis will surely face the wrath of the law, “ he said.
As a remedy, the Drug Enforcement Commission is working hand in hand with some stakeholders to support small scale farmers in engaging in genuine farming activities in order to improve their livelihoods and thus discourage them from illegal practices.
The joint operation has since proved to be one of the most successful operations in Muchinga that has unearthed over 100 tonnes of cannabis plantations in the province.