Mkushi police, court officials extort money from public for service

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Some Mkushi residents have complained that some court officials and police officers were allegedly obtaining huge sums of money from them to facilitate court processes and issue police bond.


The residents alleged that the court officials and police officers were demanding and pocketing K300 from them to ensure that their cases are heard in the courts of law and so that police bonds were given to them.


Gershom Musonda, 45, of Itala Township told the Legal and Justice Reform Commission that some court officials and police officers were abusing their powers and positions to illegally obtain money from residents they were supposed to serve and protect.


Mr. Musonda stated that the trend has been going on for over five years and no receipts were issued for the money they illegally obtained from residents.


And 71-year-old Wilson Zimba, also of Mkushi, complained that police and court officials were taking advantage of poor Zambians.


Mr. Zimba stated that court officials obtained over K300 from him as lunch and transport allowances for court messengers to deliver court summons to the Attorney General’s chambers.


He said like many other people, he was compelled to pay because he was threatened that his case will never be heard in the Mkushi magistrate court unless he complied.


Eight other petitioners echoed similar sentiments in their submissions while other people that were in attendance murmured in approval.


Commission Vice Chairperson Abraham Mwansa, who is also the Solicitor General, advised Mkushi residents to stop paying the court officials and police officers but to instead report them to higher authorities.


Mr. Mwansa explained that the issuance of police bond was free and should not attract payment from citizens adding that court officials should not demand for money when providing court services to ordinary citizens.