Malawi Police officer in court on corruption charges

The Anti  Corruption Bureau (ACB) has started prosecuting Blantyre Police Officer Depress Andrew Chikalipo for soliciting K100, 000.00 in order to release homicide case suspects on police bail.

ACB on Thursday paraded three principal witnesses at Blantyre Magistrates Court who testified against Chikalipo current answering two counts of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to Section 24 (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act and abuse of office contrary to Section 25B(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.

The witnesses, though had some disparities in their testimonies, implicated Chikalipo by revealing that he solicited K100, 000.00 but received K10, 000.00 from Elton Chatepa in order to release Elton, Dyson and Madalitso Chatepa all homicide case suspects on police bail.

According to case details filed in court, Chikalipo was handling a homicide case in which Elton, Dyson and Madalitso Chatepa were suspected to have had hand in the killing of a man in Manyowe in Blantyre in 2008.

Elton, Dyson and Madalitso Chatepa are said to have caught the man stealing in their maize garden on 18 February 2008 before he was found stoned and beaten to death by angry mob in the area hours later.

Elton Chatepa who first took to the witness stand told Chikalipo demanded K100, 000 in order to set them free after they were summoned to Blantyre Police on homicide case.

“When Mr. Chikalipo finished recording my statement, he asked me to pay K100, 000 if we’re are to be set free otherwise we were supposed to be locked up in Police cell for the death of the man who was killed in our Area. I told Mr. Chikalipo that I cannot afford and that I can only manage to pay K50, 000 and he agreed,” Elton Chatepa explained.

Chatepa said they were unconditionally released before Chikalipo called him some minutes later asking for the money.

“I went on ATM and got K7, 000 at that time Mr. Chikalipo was still calling asking where I was and how we could meet. I went to my son Kenneth a minibus driver and got K3, 000. I later met Mr. Chikalipo at Blantyre Bus stand close to Baba bottle store and gave him K10, 000. Since then he called one asking for the balance but thn I was on my way to Beira,” said Chatepa.

He said Chikalipo stopped bothering him about the money after the involvement of his eldest son who offered to settle the remaining K40,000.

“I think Mr. Chikalipo got suspicious after my son in Lilongwe called him asking for his bank account in order to sort him out. Since then I have not heard anything from Mr. Chikalipo until ACB called on the matter,” he said

Kenneth and Dyson Chatepa took to the witness box and despite in some instances contradicted their father’s (Elton) testimony both concurred that Chikalipo had received K10, 000 from their father as part of payment for their Police bail.

The ACB arrested Chikalipo on August 10th this year after the Bureau investigated the matter and established that the allegation was true.

Currently on bail, Chikalipo he was taken to Blantyre Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with two counts of corrupt practices by a public officer and abuse of office upon pleading not guilty.

Meanwhile the case has been adjourned to October 30th this year when the ACB is expected to parade two more witnesses before the court pass its judgment.

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