The Livingstone Magistrate Court has acquitted a Drug Enforcement Commission Assistant Investigations Officer who was facing two counts of corrupt practices.
The acquittal came as a result of the failure by the prosecution to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Andrew Pikiti was facing two counts of corrupt practices contrary to section 19(1), as read with section 41 of the Anti-Corruption Act Number 3 of 2012.
Pikiti appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate William Banda for judgment in the matter.
In count one, particulars of the offense were that Pikiti, on dates unknown but between 1st September 2015 and 23rd October 2015, in Livingstone, did corruptly receive K500 gratification from Joseph Moyo, as inducement for himself in order to facilitate the stoppage of money laundering criminal investigations by the DEC against Moyo.
And in count two, particulars of the offence were that, Pikiti on dates unknown but between 1st September 2015 and 23rd October 2015 in Livingstone, did corruptly receive K1, 000 gratification as an inducement to facilitate the stoppage of money laundering criminal investigations by the DEC against Joseph Moyo.
Pikiti pleaded not guilty to both counts.
In his defence, he stated that the money he received from Moyo was not a bribe but for boat cruise ticket sales as he (Pikiti) was the vice treasurer in the fundraising committee of St. Theresa Catholic Church, where he was a congregant.
And in passing judgment, Senior Resident Magistrate William Banda said he had considered all the evidence presented before court.
Mr. Banda said there was no evidence to support the prosecution’s argument on the purpose of the money Pikiti had received from Moyo.
The senior magistrate said there being no other form of evidence to support claims of corruption other than the oral testimonies by witnesses in court, the he was inclined to consider as reasonable and possible Pikiti’s assertion that the money was for ticket sales.
Mr. Banda stated that uncertainty in the matter existed as the prosecution did not prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
As such, he proceeded to acquit Pikiti on both counts.