Politicians from the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were, many can believe, full of impunity, literally. They held the country for ransom. They were so corrupt and thought they had a right to plunder the country as long as they want. They committed crimes and as per the rule of the law in the country, most of them have been convicted.
One of them is Gerald Viola who abused the National Food Agency committing all sorts of crimes there. Today was when he was supposed to be given a sentence and indeed a sentence has been given by senior resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba guess the sentence, three years suspended sentence for dishonestly awarding a deal worth MK3.3 Billion.
Do you know what a suspended sentence mean? A suspended sentence is a legal arrangement in which a person who has been found guilty of a crime is not sentenced to jail but may be sentenced for that crime at a future time if he or she commits another crime during a specified period. In our context, what it means is that Gerald Viola and his criminal friends are going back home as if nothing happened. They should not commit any other offense within the said three years.
Look, where is deterrence? So people will be abusing office doing all manners of criminality knowing that they will be given suspended sentence? Isn’t the judiciary not aware that the problems the country is facing are due to corruption and therefore, they need to help in the fight against the vice by imposing custodial jail sentences in order to send a signal that if you abuse office, they you will go to jail?
Today must be a sad day for those who fight corruption. This suspended sentence is an insult!