THE HIGH COURT OF MALAWI
APPEAL NO 53 OF 2005
JUSTICE A.K.C. NYIRENDA
Counsel for the Appellant
Mrs; Court Interpreter
Ms; Court Reporter
U D G M E N T
formal judgment will be written in due course.
have carefully read through the proceedings of the lower court and
agree with the position taken by learned Counsel on behalf
short story is that the appellant was passing through a police road
block while carrying fair paying passengers without authority
appropriate permit to do so. It is said his vehicle also did not
have appropriate papers. He was stopped by police who asked
go with them to Nkhotakota Police Station for a case file to be
opened. It is said he was accompanied by one police officer
on the way the appellant turned around and came back to the road
block and offered the three policemen who were there
K500 to close
the chapter and to let him go. It is said the officers refused to
get the money which the appellant then left on
a table and drove
away. That was the basis for the charge of official corrupt which
was brought against the appellant and for
which he was convicted.
appellant was arrested the next day when he came again with other
passengers through the road block.
must say the story in this case is a shameful concoction. For some
reason the police officers at the road block allowed the
as he pleased and the three officers watched.
is also strange about how this matter was handled by the three men in
uniform is that after they stopped the appellant with
passengers one of the officers is said to have gotten into the
vehicle in order to take it to the police station
for the appellant
to pay the relevant fines. Before going to the police station it is
said they first of all went to drop the
passengers where they were
going. I was wondering how this was possible if indeed the
passengers were unauthorized.
practice by police in this country as we know it and indeed that is
the correct thing to do in order to protect the passengers,
the passengers to be ordered to disembark.
is true on the entire testimony of the police officers is that the
appellant was a regular visitor at the road block in the
his business. There were clear contradictions in the testimony of
the state witnesses as they tried to portray a different
that this was the first time to deal with the appellant.
my clearest judgment the prosecution witnesses lied about what
actually happened on the day in question. They lied about so
things. It is therefore the finding of this court that the
conviction in this case cannot be sustained. It is quashed and
sentence is set aside. The appeal succeeds.
in Open Court today the 10th
of March 2006.
U D G E