The Machinga First Magistrate Court has ordered Rose Kwisongole, 42, to pay a fine of K150, 000 or in default serve a one year jail sentence after being found guilty of aiding a Man to jump bail.
The court heard that Kwisongole helped Beston Chilima who was answering charges of theft by public servant, to flee to South Africa in July 2017. Chilima had been released on bail after two sureties paid K100, 000 each as court bail bond.
Police prosecutor, Sub Inspector Boyce Kaonga, told the court that Chilima was not reporting to the police once every two weeks as per the bail conditions.
“Then our [police] investigations revealed that Kwisongole had taken the accused person to South Africa,” said Kaonga.
Kaonga further told the court that the police arrested and interrogated Kwisongole who confessed to have committed the crime arguing she did not know that aiding a suspect to flee the country was an offence contrary to Section 117 of the Penal Code. She was arrested and taken to court upon arrival from South Africa.
The court therefore found Kwisongole guilty and ordered her to pay K150, 000 else serve a jail sentence for one year.
Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate, Jones Masula told Kwisongole that ignorance of the law is not an excuse to warrant an acquittal of a suspect.
“The court therefore finds Kwisongongole guilty of the offence of aiding the suspect to escape. I therefore order her to pay a fine of k150,000 or in default serve a jail sentence of one year with Hard Labour (IHL),” Magistrate Masula pronounced the sentence.
Kwisongole paid the fine.
She hails from Nsamati Village, Traditional Authority Kalembo in Balaka district.