Zimbos React To Gvt Legalizing Mbjane Farming
The people of Zimbabwe were left with mixed reactions after the government announced the legalization of mbanje for medical and scientific purposes last Friday.
It is reported that any one who wishes to farm the plant should have a licence while reducing the sentence of those who were caught red handed with the substance.
Health minister David Parirenyatwa announced that growers will be required to pay annual return fee of $15 000 while an application to renew a producer’s licence will cost $20 000 and a licence to conduct research has been pegged to $5 000.
Civil society activist Brian Kagoro argued that due process was not followed by government in legalising the production of mbanje.
“Did (the) interim government that is here to finish off Robert Mugabe’s term actually legalise mbanje farming without first discussing it in Parliament? Does this decision carry several other policy & legal implications? Kagoro wrote on his Twitter account.”
Zanu PF activist Nick Mangwana hailed the move.
“The level of liberalism in Zimbabwe is making heads spin. We have se_xual rights groups exhibiting at ZITF. Some are saying it’s a pros_titutes galore, we are having mbanje being liberalized, but most importantly a very open and free political space”.
“Take the good with the bad, Mangwana wrote on his twitter account. Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said: There was no legal, medical or economic justification to ban farming of mbanje apart from some restrictions and laws inherited from the colonial times. Mbanje is a good Forex cash cow and has many health and medicinal benefits”.
“The ED regime has done well. They should actually remove all sanctions, laws and other restrictions to its farming.”
“They should actually encourage small scale and informal farming of the plant just like people grow own vegetables or maize on their backyards. Bravo ED for that.”
According to medical experts, mbanje has many medicinal benefits which include relieving pain, insomnia, anxiety and reducing pain in treating epileptic patients.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said it’s a desperate move by government ahead of elections.
“It’s a desperate move by the government for elections”.
“The industry is a growth industry it has to be done right to avoid abuse and corruption.”
“In terms of our culture we know that in Binga its medicinal qualities have long been known.”
“However, we need to be careful as a nation,” Mafume said