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By Canisius Mushibwe

Following a request by the Malawian government to have former renowned world boxing champion, Mike Tyson as brand ambassador for its Cannabis crop, a CSO has disapproved of the act.

Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), a civil society organisation in Malawi says Tyson should not be the country’s cannabis brand ambassador as he was once convicted as a sex offender in 1992. 

CPA said in a statement reacting to a letter by Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe which requested the African American fighter to become Malawi’s cannabis ambassador.

Kondwani Munthali, CPA Acting Director.
Image: /Malawi 24/

The organisation’s acting director, Kondwani Munthali, said the Government made a mistake by writing to Tyson – an ex-con who was apprehended for raping an eighteen-year-old.

“The CPA is failing to comprehend why Malawi would want to have a convicted rapist as its brand ambassador, more especially, at this time, when efforts to curb violence against women are part of the government agenda.”

“As a nation that is working tirelessly to stem out gender-based violence, we cannot be seen to associate or celebrate people of Mike Tyson calibre as a face of promoting any of our products,” Munthali said.

Kondwani Munthali

In a letter to the former world champion, dated November 1, Minister Lowe called for collaboration into the cannabis industry as it is complex and the country would not want to go into it alone.

Man working on a marijuana farm in Lilongwe, Malawi
Image: /Malawi Hemp Association/

Lowe reiterated that the legalisation of Cannabis in 2020 paved way for opportunities in both medicinal and industrial use of the drug and offers Malawi an opportunity to generate foreign exchange.

“In spite of all these perceived benefits, Malawi may not go it alone as the industry is complex requiring collaboration. I would therefore like to appoint you, Mr Mike Tyson, as Malawi’s Cannabis Branch ambassador,” Lowe stated.

Lobin Lowe

Malawi’s Agriculture ministry’s spokesperson, Gracian Lungu said the US Cannabis Association is spearheading the deal with the renowned fighter to make it a reality.

Lungu said Tyson was expected to be in Malawi last week. However, his trip was postponed because the Ministry of Agriculture is still finalising preparations.

Mike Tyson, set to be Malawi’s Cannabis Branch ambassador /courtesy/

Tyson, considered one of the greatest fighters in the boxing arena, is an entrepreneur and has invested in cannabis farming.

He has a 40-acre cannabis ranch in California, US and recently launched a new Cannabis company called Tyson 2.0.

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Canisius Mushibwe