ACB official assaulted, Viola, other get jailed

ACB official assaulted, Viola, other get jailed

Minutes after being sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, convicted Chrispin Chingola allegedly assaulted an Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) official as he was being taken to Maula Prison to start serving the term.

The incident happened after the High Court of Malawi Financial Crimes Division in Lilongwe overturned a three-year suspended sentence for Chingola and former National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) deputy chief executive officer Gerald Viola.

Viola (C) and well-wishers at court on Tuesday

Lilongwe Police Station spokesperson Hastings Chigalu confirmed the assault of ACB principal investigations officer Robert Mbuzi at the court premises and said he was recorded a statement.

He said: “It is indeed true that a complaint of assault was lodged with the police and a statement was recorded. I will be able to give more details later.”

Chigalu said Chingola will soon be brought to the police to be taken a caution statement before being charged and taken to court.

Chingola was convicted for influencing a public officer to misuse a public office contrary to Section 25B (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) while Viola was found guilty of abusing his office contrary to Section 25B (1) of the CPA.

The two were arrested in October 2020 for unilaterally issuing a K3.3 billion local purchasing order to Missie’s Trading to supply 10 000 metric tonnes of maize to the organisation.

The bureau appealed against the three-year suspended sentences last year.

Delivering her ruling, Judge Anneline Kanthambi observed that the offence committed is a felony and not a misdemeanor as earlier classified; hence, the quashing of the lower court judgement.

In February last year, Lilongwe principal resident magistrate Viva Nyimba gave the suspended sentence arguing that he took into consideration the fact that both convicts were first offenders and they never got any economic benefits from the crime.

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