FORMER Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba says if the UPND government does not want to work with Director of Public Prosecutions Lillian Siyunyi, they should talk to her in a civil manner.
In an interview, Kabimba said late former president Michael Sata promoted Judge Sunday Nkonde because he was not comfortable having him as DPP, a move he is advising the UPND government to consider rather than using a “cheap and childish” method.
“Why don’t people become gentlemen and ladies? If HH doesn’t want this lady who I don’t even know, they can call her to his office or he can ask his Minister of Justice to speak to her, isn’t that civil? And she is mature enough, she is a lawyer. If she sees that these guys don’t want to work with me or they are not comfortable working with me, she will make a decision. If you think that you do not want to work with the current DPP, speak to her. What ba (Michael) Sata did when he won, when he saw that he was not comfortable working with Sunday Nkonde who was DPP then, he called Sunday Nkonde and I was present and said to him ‘I would like to appoint you as Judge’ which is a promotion. But Mr Sata had told me that I am not comfortable that we continue with this DPP, he told me in confidence,” Kabimba said.
“We did not go the cheap route of trying to establish a tribunal against Sunday Nkonde, trying to instigate cadres to rise against him, to get cheap loafers in the name of activists to start going to the press to demand for his removal! We had Mutembo Nchito appointed. So you can see from 1991, MMD had their own DPP, in 2011, PF decided to have its own DPP but the point I am making is the method of getting one person out and getting another person in, this methodology being used now is cheap and childish. And I don’t think that HH should be proud as President to be aligned to such a cheap way of doing things. I think he can do better.”
He said the PF had grounds to establish a tribunal against Judge Nkonde but they didn’t take that route.
“We probably had grounds at that time to establish a tribunal [but] we did not. In respecting that office and the worst that Sunday Nkonde had done as DPP, we decided that he should go to the bench on promotion. What did the PF do after Sata died, they went the cadre way. So I am not only condemning UPND, I am condemning PF as well. They get Mutembo embarrassed, arrested for nothing,” he said.
Kabimba said the tendency of hounding DPPs out of office had become a sad trend.
“The same conspiracy that was used by PF against Mutembo Nchito to hound him out of office in order to bring their own user friendly DPP is what is happening now. Once you go that way, then you throw objectivity away. This idea of sponsoring people, under the guise of human rights activists, to be talking against the DPP so that they can lay grounds for the tribunal, it just destroys the integrity of that office. If this happens like PF did with Mutembo Nchito, it will just become a trend. What suffers is our criminal justice system and ultimately the country,” said Kabimba.
“If you look at the Constitution, it is very clear. Unlike the Attorney General, the Constitution provides that the DPP shall not be at the directive of any authority. So the DPP is the final authority when it comes to prosecutions and there is a reason why the DPP’s office has been given that insulation. But using the precedent of PF, and it happened under MMD, this is becoming a sad trend.”