End of the road: Thomson Mpinganjira found guilty of attempting to bribe High Court judges!
“He (Mpinganjira) wanted to use his wealth, power, and influence to manipulate the justice system. This should not be tolerated."--Matemba
In a landmark ruling, the Malawi High Court has today found business mogul, Thomson Mpinganjira, guilty of attempting to bribe High Court judges in the high-profile 2019 presidential elections case, ordering that the 60-year-old convict should be remanded at Chichiri Prison awaiting sentencing.
Justice Dorothy DeGabriele told the court that she delivered the verdict after being satisfied with the evidence tendered in the court, which showed that Mpinganjira “corruptly offered an advantage to the judges that presided over the presidential election case.”
Justice DeGabriele also said Mpinganjira's action showed that his action was more than an attempt to bribe the High Court judges because he did everything to ensure that the intended person received the offered advantage.
In mitigation, Thom Mpinganjira's lead lawyer, Patrice Nkhono, argued that his client is a first offender, employs many Malawians and that he is in bad health; hence, he does not deserve a custodial sentence.
However, the country’s Solicitor General, Reyneck Matemba, who was the Anti-Corruption Bureau Director when the case was starting and continued to be part of the case to date, poured cold water on the arguments, saying the convict should have known better when he was on his criminal journey.
“He (Mpinganjira) wanted to use his wealth, power, and influence to manipulate the justice system. This should not be tolerated. He should serve as a lesson to the rich, powerful and influential that their wealth, power, and influence should not be used to manipulate the course of justice, "Matemba told the court.
The country’s graft-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), arrested Mpinganjira in January 2020 after receiving a complaint on December 8 alleging that some people were attempting to bribe the judges of the Constitutional Court.