Malawi Agriculture Minister Lobin Low has sent a letter of invitation to the former boxing World Heavyweight Mike Tyson inviting him to become the face of the country’s cannabis market push after saying legalisation in Malawi had created new opportunities in the country’s economy.
Lobin in the letter says “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.”
Meanwhile, the head of the United States Cannabis Association, Malawi branch, Wezi Ngalamila, had told the BBC that the former boxer had accepted the invitation and plans were underway for him to visit the country. “Tyson will be working with us,” she said.
Tyson, a former world heavyweight champion, is an entrepreneur and has invested in a cannabis farm in the US.
Malawi had legalised and encouraged farmers to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes as well as hemp for industrial use.
Malawi’s ministry spokesman Gracian Lungu told the AFP news agency that the Malawian government is banking on Mr Tyson’s backing to “rope in some investors and even potential buyers”
The Centre for Public Accountability, a Malawian civil society group has however criticised the move as the former boxer was imprisoned for sex offences in the 1990s.
“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,” the group’s acting director, Kondwani Munthali, had said.
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