Businessperson Thom Mpinganjira has asked the High Court to hand him a suspended sentence which would see him being spared from going to jail.
Mpinganjira made the request through his lawyer, Patrice Nkhono, who was presenting mitigating factors after High Court Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle found the businessperson guilty of attempting to bribe judges.
Chokhotho argued that Mpinganjira is a 60-year-old man and has had bad health since he contacted Covid-19.
He added that Mpinganjira as a businessperson – who owns FDH Bank – employs hundreds of people and these people would be affected if he is sent to jail.
Chokhotho further said that sponsors Mighty Wanderers which is one of the country’s top football clubs and that the businessperson is a first offender has already shown remorse over his attempts to bribe the judges.
Former Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Reyneck Matemba who is still representing the ACB in the case quashed the mitigation factors and asked for a custodial sentence.
Matemba noted that Mpinganjira left FDH Bank management following his arrest and the bank has been operating without him since last year hence the concern that employees will suffer does not arise.
Matemba also argued that a custodial sentence will reflect the seriousness of the offence which attracts a sentence of 12 years in jail. He added that sending Mpinganjira to prison will send a message that defeating the course of Justice will not be tolerated.
Mpinganjira was arrested last year for offering K100 million to five Judges of the Constitutional Court who were presiding over the 2019 elections case in 2019. He wanted the judges to rule in favour of the president at the time, Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).