“Tant que je serai Premier ministre, il est hors de question de dépénaliser la consommation du gandia.” This was said on Saturday night 7th of May by the Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth, at Taher Bagh, where he was attending a dinner organized by the Solidarity Movement Haramayne.
The head of government was reacting to incidents on Friday 6th of May, between police and members of the Rastafarian movement.
11 members of the Rastafarian community have been arrested following a rally at La Compagnie garden. Eight of them were arrested for “obstructing public road” while the other three were arrested for possession of cannabis.
The presence of a cannabis plant in possession of members of the Rastafarian movement, while participating in a “ritual” at the rally, which caused a police raid.
The situation escalated and some members of the Rastafarian community say they were brutalized.
While taking the defense of the police he believes he acted “as it should,” Sir Anerood Jugnauth recalled that consumption of cannabis is illegal in Mauritius. A law was passed, he said, while gandia had become a scourge in the country.
The Prime Minister said that whatever happens, he will not succumb to the demand of these Rastafarians.
“S’ils ont un message à transmettre, il y a une façon de le faire. Mais pas vine dans place public et faire la prière avec gandia. Qui sa la prière la sa ?,” he asked.
He added: “Rasta pas rasta, tant qui la loi là et pas sanzer, ou bizin respecter ! Et tant que je serai Premier ministre, il n’est pas question de dépénaliser le gandia dans ce pays. Le jour où cela arrive, je démissionnerai, car il n’est pas question que mon nom soit associé à cela,” insisted the Prime Minister.
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