THE Green Party plans to free, on presidential pardon, all the marijuana related convicts serving sentences if elected into office in the August 11 general elections.
Green Party president Peter Sinkamba said this was in an effort to decongest prisons.
He noted with concern that Zambian prisons were amongst the most congested in the world with a ratio of 10 prisoners to one bed space.
“Those that will be released under this programme will then be reoriented to work in various marijuana farms we are planning to establish across the country; therefore they will be empowered to be productive members of society,” Mr. Sinkamba said.
He said in an interview that his party planned to increase funding and support to the correctional services throughout the criminal justice system.
“We are also planning as the Green Party to abolish the Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA) which we feel has not been taken seriously and so we would like to introduce a system which is independent of the mainstream justice structures,” he said.
Mr. Sinkamba observed that a healthy nation was key to development, stating that his party was determined to build a healthy Zambia through investment in the health sector.
He said the Green party, would scale up construction of health facilities countrywide to improve access to health services.
“To us the health of our people is a priority, for people to work or go to school. They must be in good health. You can’t do anything when your body is unwell and for this reason we plan to construct more health facilities countrywide.
“We will also construct a state of the art hospital at each of the army and air force bases countrywide and our finances for these projects will be domestically generated and not from donors,” Mr. Sinkamba said.
He also indicated that his party planned to establish a national research bureau for complementary and alternative medicines.
Mr. Sinkamba explained that the bureau would to be responsible for the production of such medicines using natural herbs such as marijuana.
“The bureau will also be responsible for collection and dissemination of information on the use and abuse of drugs and other substances including marijuana. We will insure that at least each province has an office,” he said.