Rwandan national Vincent Murekezi was jailed for five years on Monday after he was convicted of corruption by the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court almost nine years after he was tried in absentia.
Murekezi’s co-accused Komani Nyasulu was already convicted and served his sentence.
The court heard that Murekezi was convicted of the offence of corrupt transaction by private body contrary to section 26 subsection 2 of the corrupt practices Act where it was alleged that he on or about the 30 of December 2007 in the city of Lilongwe corruptly gave Nyasulu a clearing agent with Trade and Freight Connections K200 000 in order to facilitate evasion of import duty of approximately K2.2million which was payable to Malawi Government.
Principal Resident Magistrate Chilunga Chirwa said Murekezi deserved custodial sentence.
“Having arrived at the decision that an immediate custody term is deserved , the next issue is how long should the sentence be. Without a doubt he does not deserve a short sentence. This is not a matter where he pleaded guilty. It is my honest belief that the offender herein deserves more than 4 years as the advantage offered in instant case was higher and it resulted in the loss of a lot of money in revenue.
“It is my view that he deserves 5 years imprisonment with hard labour to run from the day he was convicted by this court namely the 2 February, 2017,” said the Magistrate.
Murekezi’s lawyer Gift Katundu said the Rwandan has already instructed him to appeal the sentence, saying it is “harsh”.
“My client has already advised me to appeal the sentence,” Katundu told Nyasa Times.