Two Years Jail Term for N$300 Bribe

A former police officer in Oshana Region learnt the hard lessons of being corrupt yesterday when he was sentenced to a direct two-year jail term for soliciting a bribe of N$300 from an illegal taxi driver. The Oshakati Magistrate’s Court passed the sentence on former police officer Frans Ndangi Ananias who had pleaded not guilty to the charge of corruption when he appeared before court in February last year. The court however found him guilty.

Magistrate Mikka Namweya, in sentencing, stressed that corruption is a serious concern and that the appropriate sentence should above all serve as deterrence. Namweya was relating to the fact that Ananias was to combat crime as a police officer but acted to the contrary and turned into a criminal.

Ananias was charged and arrested for demanding a bribe of N$300 from a driver whom Ananias had claimed was transporting passengers without the necessary public transport permit. Ananias is alleged to have asked for N$300 to turn a blind eye to the fact that the driver had no such document.

Public prosecutor Birna Adriaanse, when asked later outside the court if the sentence was too harsh, said: quotWhether it’s N$300 or N$3000, corruption is corruption and is punishable by law.quot

Magistrate Namweya said: quotAlthough the accused did not show any remorse throughout his trial, as a police officer his duty was to combat crime on a daily basis and his own work should have reminded him of the ugliness of the crime.quot

Although Ananias indicated last week that he was the breadwinner in the family and the sole provider to an unemployed wife and three children, the magistrate informed Ananias that the court had considered various factors in arriving at an equally weighted sentence.

quotOne such factor is the purpose of punishment or sentencing bearing reference on reformation, retribution and prevention,quot the magistrate said. Furthermore, the court had also taken into consideration his personal circumstances as well as the seriousness and nature of the offence, as well the society’s interest.

It was for those reasons that Ananias was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, said magistrate Namweya, adding that sentences meted out by the courts are tools to fight corruption.

Source : New Era