The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has concluded investigations into alleged bribery demands of an officer at Masambanjati Police Unit in Thyolo, faulting the complainant in the matter.
The officer was accused of demanding bribes from a suspect, Harrison Konala, 20.
The investigations were conducted within seven days from the date The Nation broke the news that the bureau had done nothing since January last year, until last week, to investigate the Malawi Police Service and an officer identified as Zintambira on the case.
High Court judge Zione Ntaba, who presided over the case in Zomba High Court, ordered the graft-fighting body to probe the law enforcer, but ACB could not do the job because it was not served with any official communication regarding the order.
While confirming that investigations have been concluded, ACB senior public relations officer Egritta Ndala could not be drawn to divulge the content of the report, saying there are still some processes which the bureau is following.
However, she said investigators did not find evidence that Konala gave money to the police officer and that the suspect has a “questionable behaviour”.
Konala is challenging police in court through a lawyer and demanding K100 million in compensation for illegal arrest and detention.
Ndala said in a written response to the question sent seven days ago: “The Anti-Corruption Bureau conducted an investigation into allegations that police officer Zintambira solicited K50 000 but received K10 000 in order to release Harrison Konala’s bicycle which had been seized. The investigation has been concluded.”
She said, the bureau has, among other things, established that facts presented in the court are different from what the bureau gathered.
“One of the issues is that Konala gave conflicting information about his age. The bureau’s findings show that there is great likelihood that Konala may have deliberately presented twisted facts in order to buy sympathy from court to secure his release on bail,” Ndala clarified in a telephone interview yesterday.
She said, the bureau has not yet submitted the report to Justice Ntaba, as such she could not provide detailed information on the findings.
“We do not want to discuss the issue with media because it is the court which is supposed to give that information. On our part, we investigated the issue but what we can say is that Konala has a questionable character because there are a lot of issues we have discovered,” said Ndala.
She said Konala is 32, according to his national identity card, but told police he is 20.
Konala was operating a motorcycle taxi business and was wrongly detained by police for carrying a passenger who was involved in an alleged murder case that was recorded in Thyolo in 2017.
According to the court, Konala spent three weeks at Masambanjati Police cell. He was later transferred to Thyolo Prison before then moved to Chichiri Prison and finally Zomba Maximum Prison after failing to pay the remaining K40 000 bribe. na