DPP heeds call to handle cases himself, appears before EFCC
DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Gilbert Phiri this morning appeared before the Economic and Financial Crimes Court to address concerns it raised about his juniors’ work ethic on Tuesday.
Phiri had a private audience with principal resident magistrate Irene Wishimanga in her chambers were he apologised on behalf of his subordinates for ‘slowing down’ productivity.
The Prosecution’s boss who assured the magistrate of correctness indicated that he will see to it that State advocates handling Fredson Yamba and Joseph Malanji’s criminal case are efficient.
At the last sitting magistrate Wishimanga called on the DPP to get his hands on the case as his advocates were not serious with work.
This was after State advocate Lewis Kandele requested for an adjournment on behalf of his colleagues who were out of jurisdiction attending to national duty.
The request for an adjournment did not sit well with magistrate Wishimanga who ordered that Phiri should take up the case himself if his juniors are failing in their duty.
She said it was inexcusable that the case would drag when there are four prosecutors on record.
“I have three or four advocates attending to this matter Surely even if one or two is out of jurisdiction the others can attend to this matter? as of today non of them is here. Is that fair to the accused and indeed the court especially that state is prosecuting the matter? ,”she wondered.
She said it was unacceptable for the State to slow down the matters before the fast track Court (Economic and Financial Crimes Court) yet the Court is expected to expeditiously dispose of cases.
“They could have assigned other State advocates. This is unacceptable and not regarding to dates set by the court! If the State advocates are busy with other matters It’s best the DPP comes in in person and attends to these matters so that we make good progress. The Court’s time should not be wasted because of people who are not willing to work,” ordered magistrate Wishimanga.
But during the private meeting Phiri requested for a short adjournment to make amends for the the wasted time.
Magistrate Wishimanga granted the request by the DPP and adjourned the case to December 13.
Yamba a fomer secretary to the treasury and Malanji who is former minister of foreign affairs are accused of failing to adhere to guidelines relating to the management of public resources and possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Yamba is alleged to have abrogated the law relating to the management of public property when he approved the transfer of K154, 201, 197 for the purchase of a chancery for the Zambian mission in Turkey.
Malanji is accused of possessing two helicopters BELL430 and a BELL 206 Jet Ranger helicopter suspected to be proceeds of crime.
By Mwaka Ndawa