SUSPENDED Lusaka Lawyer Jonas Zimba has asked the Constitutional Court to determine whether the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) can be subjected to the procedure under the Judicial Code of Conduct Act when she is not a judicial officer.
He also wants the court to determine whether Article 236 of the Constitution of Zambia as read with Article 180 (7) of the Constitution confers jurisdictions on the Judicial Complaints Commission to try the DPP for any of the allegations that may be brought against her under Article 181 of the Constitution of Zambia as amended under Act No 2. of 2016.
Zimba further wants the court to declare, by virtue of the two said reliefs, that the complaint and proceedings before the JCC are void ab initio and therefore a nullity.
In his affidavit in support of originating summons, Zimba stated that he had followed closely the debate on how the DPP ought to be removed from office and had carefully read the provisions relating to the DPP.
Zimba stated that there was a provision under Article 182 (3) of the Constitution which speaks to the fact that the DPP shall be removed using the same procedure as a Judge.
“It provides: “182(3) The Director of Public Prosecutions may be removed from Office on the same grounds and procedure as applied to a judge”. A Judge is subject to the Judicial Code of Conduct Act which is Act No. 13 of 1999. Under the said Act, a Judge is a Judicial Officer and this is contained in section 2 of the said Act which provides that “Judge” means a person appointed judge under article ninety-five of the constitution,” the affidavit read.
He stated that he had difficulties in reconciling whether the DPP was a judicial officer or not.
Zimba stated that he believed this difficulty could only be resolved by interpretation of the said provisions of the law by the court.
He stated that the interpretation of the said provisions would guide and help develop the law in ad far as the office of the DPP was concerned.