Our judges are susceptible to bribes, need to be probed too

It came as a big shock that some people were attempting or attempted to bribe the five High Court judges, currently seating at constitutional court. What was more shocking was that the one to report this crime was no lesser mortal, the Chief Justice himself.

Judges possible candidates for investigations.

To ice the cake, or is it adding salt to the injury, the corruption busting body czar confirmed the allegation albeit, timidly, refused to disclose the names of those implicated.

Of course, despite all his justification, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General (DG) was roasted, his credential questioned by the high court of the social media. He stood his ground.

ACB boss told the impatient Malawi citizens that he could not just mentioned names of the accuser and the accused because it was not legally right.

Being pushed to mention which side of the divide—ruling and opposition—were the efforts to bribe the judges came from. His answer was both sides.

In his breakdown ACB boss told the general public that the Chief Justice (CJ) lodged a complaint verbally to him that he heard from some of the judges that there was an attempt to bribe the judges.

The DG met the CJ in person and he was told the circumstances surrounding the allegation of the bribe. The CJ probably mentioned names of the judges approached and the people that approached the judges (the suspects), may be even the amount offered.

Matemba was satisfied that a crime has been committed and he asked the vulnerable CJ to put the allegations in writing.

The head of the Judiciary decided, in his official letter of complaint, to skip the names of the judges, names of the suspects and even an amount. The letter that Matemba displayed to the public was nothing but a skeleton.

The Chief Justice was given an opportunity to put his allegations in writing, the CJ could have detailed the allegations including names and amount and also officialising the complaints and the accusations. He chose not to.

It is understood that ACB can receive complaints in various forms including verbal but the nature of the case and the stature of the office making the allegation, the expectation could have been that the letter of complaint could have been detailed and conclusive.

The CJ’s letter to ACB had no details. Strange!

However, ACB boss thought it wise to act upon the verbal complaint—which is legally right. He asked the judges mentioned in the verbal complaint to give sworn statements.

Strangely ACB czar never saw the judges as possible candidates for investigations.

The basic understanding is that it takes two to tangle. Could be that Matemba never thought of putting the judges under microscope?
Or did he? At least he has never disclosed that he was also investigating the judges.

If the one to pay corruption is guilty, the one to receive is equally guilty. In this case all the five judges could have been investigated to conclusively remove any doubt that they were accomplices.

This case, if at all it happened, is a case of fraud and obtaining money by false pretence. What is so clear is that corruption never took place. No person approached the judges and offered them money. There is no evidence to this fact, so far.

What we hear is that one or two of the honourable judges were approached and a claim was made to them that they were supposed to receive some dough or whether they received the money or indeed if they were demanding more money. We are told this surprised the judges, meaning nobody had offered them any bribe.

This could have end to the whole saga. Why? Because nobody had approached or gave them a bribe, but the judges decided to reported the matter to Chief Justice.

The Chief Justice reported the matter to ACB and corruption case commenced.

The question is which judge or judges were approached and offered a bribe? The answer is none. The judges heard that they were supposed to be given a bribe—speculation. The judges, without any supporting any evidence apart from hearing that they were supposed to receive a bribe, report the matter to CJ.

The Chief Justice also speculated to ACB Czar and based on this hearsay, he takes action—not investigating but effecting an arrest.
There is no murder without a dead body and without murder weapon.

The ACB acted in the same manner which villagers act when they suspect someone to be a witch. Kill.

Corrupting judges is a high crime misdemeanor.

It could have been thoroughly investigated before any attempt to make an arrested was made. ACB could have established a crime beyond the mere speculation that the judges were supposed to be offered a bribe. ACB could have gone beyond the judges sworn statements and could also have been obvious to the fact that the judges could have been accomplices and worth to be candidates for investigations.

ACB went for a low laying fruit. The mere mention of names was not enough evidence for an arrest.

Investigators are trained to doubt every story line. Doubting is a basis for further inquiries, this does not seem to have been the case in this scenario.

A more worrying element in this whole saga is the style the judges handled the matter. We hear even before they reported the matter to the Chief Justice, they had set a kangaroo court and invited the suspect to squeeze a confession.

The innocent civilian was not accorded any legal representation before the highly trained judges.

Law is said to be fair or it is suppose to be seen to be fair. What the learned judges did was not fair at all. This was callous on their part.

The picturesque of this whole case does not point to fairness. The manner the whole matter has been handled, from the chief justice to the judges, to ACB and to the magistrates does not give confidence to the legal system in Malawi.

The failure to offer fairness is the failure of justice. The judges’ mafia style of squeezing information out of an unrepresented civilian is to be condemned and calls for a mistrial of the whole case.

This whole shenanigan only points to one fact that our judges are susceptible to bribes.

These are the people to be investigated and possibly thrown into jail.

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Nalingula
Nalingula
7 months ago

In short ….ACB is stupid ,the Judges who reported this are stupid ,the Chief Justice is stupid …They all should have Consulted Mr Nthondo on what to Do …If I release Money for the Purpose of Corrupting X,Y andZ ….and then followUp what does that Tell about My Character …? If the Money was for Charity i.e to Buy Beds at Queen’s why was it not followed Up with the Hospital Admin . ….May be am Stupid too for not Understanding Your Logic Sir ….In short every day Institutions ,Individuals are getting Captured to Frustrate the Truth ….But not all… Read more »

Mitengo
Mitengo
7 months ago

If this was the way the bribery events happened leaving the names of judges out not mentioned, then one doubts if Thom would get a fair trial.Any judge presiding over this case would be compromised as no one would trust him. Matemba needed to probe the judges to ascertain money exchanged hands or the soliciting of the bribe indeed took place. The one judge involved as Matemba alleges would have been arrested concurrently with Thom. I salute the Zomba magistrate for quashing the whole meaningless warrant issued based on jealousy or hate or incompentence on the part of ACB.

Jerusalem Bible College
Jerusalem Bible College
7 months ago

It seems you are one of the ignorant writers. Do you think ACB would just arrest Mpinganjira without talking or probing from the concerned judges? Or you wanted the ACB to be reporting to you about everything they have done in the investigations? So you want to pretend us you know much when you are actually showing your ignorance here.

Juju
Juju
7 months ago

No need getting emotions here? Dont lose your head here. Its fact that judges were supposed to interrogated.

Forgive them
Forgive them
7 months ago

@ Naluso one ndalekeza panjira ndaona kuti awa monsemuja sakudziwabe kuti propaganda ya dpp inasiya kugwira ntchito chifukwa anthu tinadziwa chilungamo,shame on you writer
Ine ndinamvera pakamwa pa mmatembaakuyankhula,nyasatimes mukapusa mudzatha ngati udf nfi afford

chingondo
chingondo
7 months ago

If attempted murder is a crime, it then follows that an attempted corruption or bribe is also an offence on the one attempting to bribe.

Banyamulenge
Banyamulenge
7 months ago

It is plain truth that a homosapien is so corrupt. This came as a result of the fall of man in the garden of Eden. Judge shopping and corruption is so common in this sinful world. The normal practice is that both parties would bring their offers and the side whose offer is lower is rejected and sometimes exposed.The one who presents a fat cow wins and it remains a top secret…. Ichi nde chilungamo Cha dziko lapansi… but ours is a good fearing nation and this can’t happen

Bwasi Zatha
Bwasi Zatha
7 months ago

And on the side Bakili and little Atupele deciding which team to back DPP or MCP? The political engineer is calculating and keeping doors to both DPP and MCP open.

Digging Deeper & Deeper
Digging Deeper & Deeper
7 months ago

APM + DPP Mpingagira Group + Judiciary + Director ACB + IG Police = Same Side Team. MCP should be prepared for a judgement in favour of MEC and APM. Game over.

Malawi belong to the citizens.

To the writer,why did the judges not mentioned your name and say you was the one who wanted to bribe the judges? There is no smoke without fire. Judges are human beings and they need money too, especially if the offer is in millions of Kwachas.The bribe saga happened, that’s why the Chief justice reported the matter to the ACB to investigate it.And after investigation by the ACB they found the one who did that, Mr Thom Mpinganjira,my question is why the ACB did not come to you, Mr writer and arrest you? Simple answer you were not involved.The person… Read more »

Pires JK kaunda
Pires JK kaunda
7 months ago

Powerful man.. I’ve just given you 9 distinctions.. Wel writing…

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
7 months ago

Bravo brother you have said it well.

nompumelelo khuzwayo
7 months ago

cant agree more, bro. very well argued

Jose
Jose
7 months ago

Amene answered ndi nkhani kuti anthu ambiri akufuna chilungamo.Komaso tsogolo ladziko zake.

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