Malawi: Controversy Over Appointment of Mike Tyson As Cannabis Ambassador

By Joseph Dumbula

Authorities in Malawi think the experience of Mike Tyson could be helpful in the cannabis venture touted to have great economic potentials

There is massive reaction over government’s decision to appoint world boxing icon Mike Tyson as Malawi’s cannabis ambassador.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Agriculture wrote Tyson of the wish for him to pick up the role to carry the flag for the crop whose legality which was approved by parliament for medical use years ago.

“Malawi may not go it alone as the industry is complex [and requires] collaboration. I would therefore like to appoint you, Mr Mike Tyson, as Malawi’s Cannabis Branch ambassador,” the letter issued by Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe reads.

Meanwhile, some outlets are quoting United States Cannabis Association Leader of Malawi branch, Wezi Ngalamila, as stating that Tyson accepted the role and would be heading to the Southern African nation ‘soon’

But the choice of Tyson has not gone will with activists who feel his 1992 rape related legal contention does not warrant him a better name.

In parliament, a lawmaker by the name Owen Chomanika questioned government over the decision.

But gender Minister Patricia Kaliati said the decision is not any wrong because the legal battles Tyson had remained a thing of the past.

Local media, MIJ Radio is quoting Center for Public Accountability through its Acting Director, Kondwani Munthali who says Tyson is not a good candidate as he has a criminal record.

Earlier last year, parliament passed a bill which allowed cultivation of cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes. Supporters of the bill insist cannabis will boost the economy, which is largely dependent on tobacco.

However, Anti-drug campaigners and religious conservatives say the move will encourage recreational use of marijuana.

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