PETER SICHALI writes
A MAN of Mpika’s Tazara area has committed suicide after a State prosecutor allegedly asked him for a bribe to have his jail sentence for the offence of been in possession of fake kwacha notes reduced.
Muchinga Province Police Commissioner Joel Njase confirmed the incident and named the deceased as Evans Mapoma, an Airtel mobile money agent.
Mr Njase said Mapoma was arrested on June 4 by Tazara Police when he attempted to deposit K1, 000 out of which K800 was in fake notes.
He said the incident happened on Wednesday after the prosecuting officer allegedly told to him to pay K5, 000 to have his jail sentence reduced.
“On 4th June 2019 Tazara police received a report from Tazara Zanaco Bank main branch that there was a person who was about to deposit K1,000 out of which K800 was suspected to be fake notes.’’ Mr Njase said.
Mr Njase said Tazara police investigated and took the case to court and Mapoma admitted the charge on Tuesday and the matter was adjourned to Wednesday for written facts and judgment.
“On Tuesday after the court session the suspect was called by the prosecuting officer and requested to meet him. When he came back he explained to his surety Kelvin Chitambala that the prosecuting officer told him to give him a K5, 000 so that they reduce the sentence for it was so serious that he could be jailed for 5 years.’’ he said.
Mr Njase said the on June 26 before the matter could take off the Mapoma committed suicide by drinking a poisonous substance.
He said police have since launched investigations and that an appropriate action will be taken against any officer found wanting.
“We need to respect our justice system to ensure fairness and respect of human rights.’’ he said.
Mr Njase said any unprofessional conduct had potential to cause unwarranted suffering on suspects and must not be tolerated.
He has since appealed to members of public to immediately report any public officer involved in any misconduct.