Lillian Siyunyi
Lillian Siyunyi


PF media has reported that, President Hakainde Hichilema has reportedly sent the Director of Public Prosecution, Lillian Fulata Shawa-Siyuni on forced leave.

But constitutional experts are already calling the action illegal and unconstitutional.

Siyuni was appointed in 2016, was ratified by Parliament and enjoys constitutional tenure of office and can only be removed through succeful findings of a judicial tribunal.

Article 182 provides;

• Tenure of office of Director of Public Prosecutions;

1. Subject to this Article, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall retire from office on attaining the age of sixty years.

2. The Director of Public Prosecutions may retire, with full benefits, on attaining the age of fifty-five years.

3. The Director of Public Prosecutions may be removed from office on the same grounds and procedure as apply to a judge.

4. The Director of Public Prosecutions may resign from office by three months’ notice, in writing, to the President.

State House has been said to behind maneuvers to pressure Siyuni to resign or be appointed as a High Court Judge but she has turned down both offers hence the latest assault on her tenure of office.

Because the Office enjoys independence and autonomy in decision making of prosecution of criminal cases, State House is determined to employ a compliant officer to the office.

State House has since been pushing a disputed case of alleged stolen MMD vehicles in which the DPP has refused to sanction prosecution for lack of merit, as a case of unethical conduct which the Nevers Mumba team reported to the Judicial Service Complaint Commission.

But the Constitution provides total independence to the DPP;

Article 180(7) states that;

7. The Director of Public Prosecutions shall not be subject to the direction or control of a person or an authority in the performance of the functions of that office, except that the Director of Public Prosecutions shall have regard to the public interest, administration of justice, the integrity of the judicial system and the need to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process.



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