Governance Activist Brebner Changala says following her letter to the Drug Enforcement Commission in which she expressed displeasure with the arrest of Milingo Lungu, Director of Public Prosecutions Lillian Siyunyi SC should not be allowed to stay another day in office.
Last week, DPP Siyunyi wrote to DEC Director General Mary Chirwa, asking her to exculpate herself over the decision to re-arrest former Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) liquidator Milingo Lungu without getting authority from her office.
But commenting on the development in an interview, Changala said there was need for an investigation to be initiated against Siyunyi.
“I gave her a benefit of doubt that she could have entered a nolle in order to reorganise the matter or indeed the case so that she can have a second bite at the cherry. But from what is unfolding, the DPP, who is constitutionally the director of all criminal prosecutions in this country, is having to differ with another government institution. And this opens a pandora’s box where without ignoring her constitutional mandate and security of tenure that she does enjoy, that an investigation on the many nolles that she has thrown at certain individuals throughout her tenure, that it is now more urgent than before that she is investigated in terms of her competence, political connections and in terms of abuse of her office,” Changala said.
“If what has appeared in the Diggers today (Monday) is anything to go by, the DPP with due respect must not stay another day in office until we get to the bottom of how that office has been run since the departure of Mutembo Nchito and many other DPPs before her. That office has become highly politicised and Madam Siyunyi’s tenure of office is untenable. A tribunal is inevitable at this stage.”
He said Siyunyi had created a lot of doubt in her competence.
“If Zambia has to proceed in its quest to fight corruption, white collar crimes and unequal justice system, because she is ready to prosecute a policeman who collected a bribe at a traffic roadblock than failing to prosecute men and women who have looted the treasury to the core, rendering this country bankrupt. And this cannot be entertained. I urge the powers that be and the legal minds to move in one direction and find space in which we can correct this dangerous development that is facing us as we move forward,” said Changala.
“This is a DPP who has created a lot of doubt in her competence, imaginary or real or deliberate in that many cases, especially the high-profile cases, don’t seem to progress to any other level under her watch because she has a weapon that is given to her by our Constitution where she can discontinue a matter at any stage without giving any reasons. And she is a DPP who is, by any strong perception, misunderstood to be an ally of the Patriotic Front and that is a handicap in our Judicial system as she performs her duties.”
In a letter dated April 7, 2022 addressed to DEC Director General and copied to the Attorney General, DPP Siyunyi said the Commission abrogated the Constitution by re-arresting Milingo on the same charges without permission.
She added that on matters of prosecutions, the Drug Enforcement Commission does not act independent of the DPP’s office.
“REF: ARREST OF MILINGO LUNGU. Reference is made to your minute dated 7th April instant referenced DEC /AMLIU/ FIC/ 10/21. Further, my Office has received information from the lawyers, Messrs. Sakwiba Sikota, SC and Moses Chitambala, representing the above person that he has been re-arrested on the same charges that my Office entered Nolle Prosequi. My Office has not issued any instructions for you to re-arrest on the same charges,” DPP Siyuni stated in a letter seen by News Diggers.
“Your actions are ultra vires the Constitution which gives this Office the mandate to give instructions on prosecution of matters. You are been (sic) called upon to urgently explain the basis of your actions which are an abrogation of the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of Zambia. Kindly be informed that on matters of prosecution you do not act independent from this Office. You are guided henceforth. I await your urgent response.”