By Thomas Ngala
IT’S false and mischievous for anyone to suggest the Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC) can only hear the Director of Public Prosecutions once the President lifts her oath of secrecy, McDonald Chipenzi has said.
He warns that the silence from DPP Lillian Siyunyi will not deter the JCC from making its decision and necessary recommendations to the President on whether to remove, suspend or retain her.
GEARS Initiative executive director Chipenzi told The Mast that there is nowhere in the existing law where the Constitution says the DPP would only appear before the JCC after clearance from the President.
“There is no law that prescribes to that demand outside the principle of justice. The Constitution of the republic under Articles 182, 143, 144 among other articles is instructive on how to remove, discipline and suspend a DPP from office in Zambia. The procedure and charges are the same to those that will be slapped on a judge such as incompetence, mental challenges and gross misconduct,” he said. “The procedure is done by and through the JCC without any conditions attached. There is nowhere in the existing law where the Constitution says the DPP will only appear before the JCC after clearance from the President? It only prescribes that the hearing may be in camera and therefore, the DPP is free to say as long as the said is not offending the law on the oath of secrecy.”
Chipenzi said the silence from the DPP won’t deter the JCC from making its decision and necessary recommendations to the President on whether to remove, suspend or retain Siyunyi.
“Therefore, the earlier this DPP-government fight ends the better for the justice system in Zambia,” he said.
On the break-in at former president Edgar Lungu’s residence, Chipenzi said the incident is unfortunate.
He however said there could have been security lapses on the party of personnel stationed at his home.
“New as the incident may not be, the fact that it has repeatedly occurred to former president Rupiah Banda also, there is need to up the numbers of security officers at their premises. Perhaps, this requires a review of the law (benefits of former president Act) which prescribes only three security officers to guard the premise of the former president so that the numbers can be increased,” said Chipenzi. “Or alternatives, former head of state can hire private security in addition to those provided by the state as per law demands.”