The Mchinji first grade magistrate court has handed a three year suspended sentence to a 60-year-old ADMARC clerk for demanding extra money from beneficiaries of Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (FISP).
The clerk has been identified as Isaac Balamanja who worked at Kafulama ADMARC in the district.
According to Senior Public Relations Officer Eggrita Ndala for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the bureau received a complaint alleging that Balamanja was stealing from FISP beneficiaries.
The ACB investigated the matter and established that Balamanja was pocketing 1, 500 Kwacha extra from each bag of subsidized fertilizer that he was selling to each FISP beneficiary.
“He was caught by the community members while selling subsidized fertilizer at night. Nine bags of fertilizer were seized and exhibited in court and he did this to many people but the bureau managed to secure seven people who were found with the fertilizer that night as witnesses,” said Ndala.
She added that the bureau took Balanyama to Mchinji Magistrate Court where he was charged with six counts of corrupt practices and abuse of public office contrary to Section 24(1) and 25B (1) of Corrupt Practices Act.
Ndala further said that on 28th June, 2017, the First Grade Magistrate at Mchinji convicted Balanyama on all the six counts and on 3rd July, 2017, the court sentenced him to one year on each count.
According to Ndala, the court suspended the sentences to three years on condition that the convict does not commit a similar offence within that period.
The magistrate stated that he had given a suspended sentence after considering the age of the convict who is 60 years old.