Vincent Murekezi gets 5 years for corruption
The Lilongwe Principal Resident Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Rwandan, Vincent Murekezi, to five years imprisonment with hard labour for corruption.
Presiding Magistrate, Patrick Chirwa, delivered the sentence Monday.
Murekezi was convicted on February 2 this year for evading K2.2 million import duty with his company, Sofamu Limited in 2007.
Chirwa said the offender deserved more years as his behaviour resulted in the loss revenue for government.
He also said Murekezi deserved a stiffer sentence as he did not plead guilty and that his conduct of absconding trial showed lack of remorse.
“He does not deserve a short sentence [as] this is not a matter where he pleaded guilty. The offender absconded trial immediately before judgement was pronounced; there is lack of remorse on his part. It is my view that he deserves five years imprisonment with hard labour and I so sentence him to serve five years imprisonment with hard labour,” he said.
Chirwa said Murekezi’s sentence will run from the day he was convicted, saying he has a right to appeal the conviction and sentence within 30 days.
Prosecuting Officer for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Michael Kalonga, expressed satisfaction with the sentence.
“This is what we wanted considering the seriousness of the offence and absconding of trial which was the evidence of no regret on his [Murekezi’s] part,” he said
Murekezi’s lawyer Gift Katundu said they will appeal the sentence considering that this client’s co accused, Komani Nyasulu, was given a community service sentence for the same offence.
“Looking at the facts of the sentence, the co-accused was given a suspended sentence and with the same facts, same scenario, why should Murekezi get something different? Is it because he is a foreigner? This is not a serious offence. The court has made its opinion so we think we can direct it further,” he said.
Nyasulu finished serving his sentence.
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