Phalombe First Grade Magistrate (FGM), Damson Banda, on Thursday warned police officers in the district against implicating him in corrupt practices with suspects, emphasizing that he does not indulge in corruption.
The Magistrate sounded the warning during court proceedings in which a suspect, Sailesi Nyanya, told the court that a certain police officer had pocketed money from him in the name of the magistrate.
Nyanya was appearing before the court for absconding bail after he was granted the privilege pending a rape trial.
He told the court that after he was released on bail, a police officer (whose name was not mentioned in the chamber) told him that the magistrate had sent the officer to collect K300, 000 from the suspect in order for him (Nyanya) to be granted unconditional freedom.
“At first I hesitated, but after a while I gave in and I negotiated for the money to be reduced to K200, 000 which I duly gave him and he told me to stop observing conditions of the bail,” he said.
Responding to the claims, Magistrate Banda asked the suspect to name the police officer who took money from him, but a police prosecutor from Phalombe Police Station barred him from releasing the name, arguing that the matter will be dealt with within the police establishment.
Further distancing himself from the allegations, Magistrate Banda advised the police to put their house in order as repeated incidents of such allegations might land them in trouble.
“Allegations such as these remove the public’s confidence in the justice system of the country. I do not know about this so called police officer and the arrangement that this suspect is talking about, that’s why I wanted the suspect to mention the name right here. However, for the respect I have for your institution, I will let you deal with the issue behind closed doors,” Banda said.
Phalombe Police spokesperson Augustus Nkhwazi faulted the suspect for making such claims in court saying doing so made him look like he was simply trying to buy sympathy.
Said Nkhwazi: “It would have been better if he first raised the issue with the police top administration for the matter to be dealt with properly.”
Meanwhile, Nyanya remains under police custody as he answers three charges of theft, rape and absconding court bail.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :