Esther Mwalala, 35, will spend the next three years in jail but as a prisoner – after she was convicted of attempting to bribe a magistrate as an inducement to acquits her husband Malingana Phiri aged 40, who is answering charges of armed robbery at the Dowa Third Grade Magistrate Court.
Police Prosecutor sergeant Gerald Kwizombwe told the court that Mwalala stormed third grade magistrate Ezekiel Kantikana’s house on January 7 2013 at around 8 am with K20, 000 bribe.
Mwalala pleaded guilty to the offence, and in mitigation pleaded with the court that it should be lenient with the punishment as a first offender.
“Your worship, I have six children who will suffer if I am given a custodial sentence and on top of this, I was only lured into the act by my husband who ill-advised me that everything would be fine if I offered the money to the magistrate,” she aid.
But magistrate Titus Chalemera Banda said he exercised leniency in sentencing her to a three-year jail-term for the offence of corruption whose maximum sentence is 12 years according to section 396 (2) of the penal code.