CIVIL rights activist Chama Fumba, alias Pilato, has lodged a complaint with the Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC) against Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Siyunyi, requesting the commission to undertake proceedings for her removal.
Meanwhile, the commission has acknowledged receipt of the complaint and informed Pilato that the same shall be laid before it for consideration.
Pilato, who has cited DPP Siyunyi as the respondent in the complaint dated April 12, has argued that the DPP has misconducted herself and exhibited serious incompetence in her handling of the case involving former Konkola Copper Mines Provisional Liquidator Milingo Lungu.
He stated that Lungu was facing straightforward charges before the court, adding that the entry of a nolle prosequi in his earlier matter was ill-motivated and not in public interest.
“A complaint of alleged incompetence and gross misconduct by the Director of Public Prosecutions whereby she interfered with the functions of the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) by filing fresh charges in the case of The People v. Milingo Lungu on 8th April 2022 without consulting the office of the Commissioner of the DEC whose unit had re-arrested the accused person. The DPP had on 5th April 2022, questionably and against public interest, entered a nolle prosequi in the case of The People v. Milingo Lungu that was before Hon. Felix Kaoma at Lusaka, where the accused person stood charged with the offenses of theft and money laundering involving K4.4 million,” the complaint read.
“I am reliably informed that the discontinuation of this action by the DPP was done without consulting the Commissioner of the DEC whose unit oversaw investigations and preparation of the docket in this case. The accused person was facing straightforward charges before the court and the entry of the nolle prosequi was ill-motivated and not in public interest.”
Pilato, 38, charged that the DPP had been bent on protecting Lungu.
He added that State Counsel Siyunyi had shown grave incompetence by failing to realise that she had no powers to instruct law enforcement agencies on who to arrest and who not to arrest.
“The accused person was re-arrested on 7th April 2022 by the DEC with a view to taking it back to court and augmenting it with further charges and a statement was issued to the public to explain the basis for this, but this did not please the DPP who wrote to the Commissioner on 7th April 2022 complaining against the re-arrest of the accused person and demanding an explanation why the DEC took the action it did. I am reliably informed that again without consulting the DEC, the DPP prepared a fresh charge on 8th April 2022 with a sole count where the accused is alleged to have been in possession of property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime. It is apparent that the DPP’s actions in this matter are not in pursuit of public interest,” he stated.
“She has been bent on protecting the accused person which shows ill and/or criminal motive and lack of proper judgment. Furthermore, the respondent has shown grave incompetence by failing to realize that she has no powers to instruct law enforcement agencies on who to arrest and who not to arrest as the sole role of the respondent is to prosecute cases and not to order for arrests of members of the public.”
Pilato is therefore praying that proceedings for the removal of Siyunyi as DPP be undertaken by the Commission, saying she cannot be trusted to make sound decisions devoid of personal interest.
“The DPP has therefore misconducted herself and has exhibited serious incompetence and her actions must be inquired into because she cannot be trusted to make sound decisions devoid of personal interest. I therefore pray that proceedings for the removal of the respondent as DPP be undertaken by the Commission on the grounds set out in this Complaint premised on the fact that the respondent is incompetent and has grossly misconducted herself in her handling of the case involving Mr. Milingo Lungu who was the former provisional Liquidator of Konkola Copper Mines,” stated Pilato.
Meanwhile, the commission acknowledged receipt of the complaint, in a letter addressed to Pilato, also dated April 12, 2022.
“I write to acknowledge receipt of your complaint to the Commission as indicated above, received on 12th April, 2022. I wish to inform you that in accordance with the provisions of section 26 (2) of the Judicial (Code of Conduct) Act No.13 of 1999 as amended by Act No.13 of 2006, your complaint shall be laid before the Commission for consideration,” stated JCC secretary Naisa Makeleta.