Alliance for Democracy and Development president Charles Milupi says Director of Public Prosecution Lillian Siyuni should resign from her position for failing to protect the interests of Zambians.
In a statement yesterday, Milupi wondered how the office the DPP failed to foresee that the case against former Lusaka Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta would not stand.
“The acquittal of Obvious Mwaliteta and his co-accused by the Lusaka High court should trouble the conscience of a well functioning office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). Mwaliteta and his colleagues have been in jail for one year, over an offence they never committed. ‘The arresting officer’s evidence was so discredited, disjointed and uncollaborated as he failed to investigate the alabi of Mwaliteta’s co – accused’, stated Judge Mwape Bowa before dismissing the case. Our understanding is that before a case is conveyed to the courts of law for prosecution, the DPP carries a thorough examination as to whether its merits overrides frivolity and certain hidden interests, by arresting officers,” Milupi stated.
“The case in question was so unserious, trivial and unwarranted that a third level officer in the office of the DPP, would have dismissed it outrightly, unless of course there were political undercurrents, and that is where it is deeply troubling. This kind of behaviour by the DPP corrals her credibility to prosecute, and calls to question the propriety of her office.”
And Milupi also wondered why the DPP was over taking cases involving employees of the state.
“As a matter of fact, the pattern of events where the DPP is taking over cases of supporters and employees of the State, on the pretext of protecting public interest, is scandalous and amounts to obstruction and abuse of the judicial process by the office of the DPP. There is currently a serious and disturbing pattern of conflict of interest and apparent collusion by the DPP and an invisible hand, which amounts to obstruction of justice. This state sponsored and well coordinated miscarriage of justice threatens institutional cohesion, and will degenerate into the breakdown of the rule of law, which may further threaten peace and stability of our Nation,” Milupi stated.
He noted that there were too many people being taken to court without proper evidence against them.
“It undercuts the credibility of the office of the DPP and paralysises legitimate initiatives of credible legal players in the value chain. The Nation has in the recent past been treated to bizarre testimonies of arresting officers, who arrested without any basic aid of fact based evidence, other than mere assumptions. The arresting officer of the UPND President Hakainde Hichilema, made a decision to arrest for treason based on a video footage he watched on social media from the comfort of his home, without even visiting the scene of crime. The DPP ratified and sanctioned the case for ‘prosecution’. How bad can it get? What kind of joke can this be?” he wondered.
Milupi said Siyuni had failed Zambians by compromising the autonomy of her office.
“The DPP is supposed to maintain a certain degree of autonomy from the State, as a means to ensure prosecution independence. This unfortunately, is a farfetched dream for the current DPP. That’s why we call upon her to resign because she has failed the Zambian people, whose interests she’s supposed to protect. The DPP is an institutional office protected by the Constitution, and has clear guidelines that stipulate that her duties cannot be subject to the direction or influence of anybody, including the President,” stated Milupi.
“The DPP in this regard, has therefore no excuse for her highly compromised and questionable conduct so far. It is against this background that the only honourable and right thing to do under these circumstances, is to tender her resignation in order to save this Country from further degeneration of the rule of law, and also to enable a competent person take over the noble functions of the office.”