TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TIZ) has welcomed the Lusaka High Court’s dismissal of the appeal by former first secretary at the Zambian mission in Italy Andrew Banda in which he was challenging his two year jail sentence.
The Court on Monday rejected the appeal by Mr Banda who was found guilty by the Lusaka Magistrate of soliciting and receiving K171,000 as a reward for assisting Fratelli Locci SRI, an Italian firm.
TIZ information officer Charles Chulu said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that the organisation was happy with the decision by High Court judge Mwila Chitabo.
“As an institution founded on morals of transparency and accountability, we further hope that the lesson of sentencing and conviction of Mr Banda will compel public officers to refrain from engaging in similar criminal offences that only benefit them and not the people of Zambia.
“As we welcome his conviction, we feel that the two year sentence slapped on him and others in the recent past, is light and will not serve to deter other would be offenders from engaging in acts of abuse of office and corruption,” he said.
He said the oragnisation hoped that the courts of law would consider increasing the number of years of imprisonment for similar offences.
He appealed to the Judiciary to continue finding means and ways of speeding up the onclusion of such matters in good time.
“We fully recognise the need for the due process of the law, but we would at the same time urge the necessary authorities to put in place measures that reduce the overall workload that the courts of law have to contend with,” he said.
He said the courts have an important role to stem out the wanton corruption and such judgments were strong reminders.