On 29th June, 2010, the Anti-Corruption Bureau received a complaint alleging that police officer Lipenga of Chafumbwa Police Unit solicited K96, 000.00 from eight people who had been arrested on suspicion of cattle theft.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau instituted an investigation which established that Steven Lipenga solicited K96, 000 but received K94, 500.00 from relatives of the eight suspects in order to release them on police bail.
The Bureau took Steven Lipenga to Dedza Magistrates Court. He was charged with four counts of corrupt practices by public officer and two counts of abuse of office contrary to Section 24(1) and 25B(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
On 30th August, 2013 the Court convicted Steven Lipenga. He was sentenced to twenty (24) months and ffifteen (15) months imprisonment with hard labour for obtaining K94, 500.00 and abuse of his authority respectively. The sentences will run concurrently.
The prosecution also moved the court to make an order under Section 37(b) of the Corrupt Practices Act that the accused person pays back the money he obtained from relatives of the eight suspects. If he cannot pay back the money, the Bureau may have to enforce Section 38 of the Corrupt Practices Act which provides for the recovery of money by way of distress and sale of such moveable and immoveable property of the convict.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau is reminding all Malawians that no one should demand any payment to release suspects on police bail since police bail is free. They should report all those demanding payment for police bail to the Anti-Corruption Bureau.