Lillian Fulata Shawa Siyuni
Lillian Fulata Shawa Siyuni

…we’ve war on our hands, Nevers warns ‘playful’ DPP

By Kombe Mataka

MMD president Nevers Mumba has urged Director of Public Prosecutions Lillian Shawa Siyunyi to be cautious with the manner she handles corruption cases.

He has accused Siyunyi of being playful in the manner she’s handling corruption matters.

“Our position today is the DPP must pull away from obstructing justice and from trying to protect a few against prosecution,” he said.

Mumba in an address on Tuesday, also shared on his Facebook page, said the fight against corruption that Zambians had called for was not a game but a war.

“We would like to advise DPP to be extremely cautious. This is not a game. We have a war on our hands. The is the war against corruption and we would like to see every constitutional office holder, every Zambian on the street to band together to deal with the dangerous cancer of corruption. We are deeply disappointed at how playful the DPP is in dealing with the fight against corruption,” he said. “As MMD, we have raised this issue several times about the fact that our DPP is being playful and it is on record. We believe that time has come for all Zambians to pull up their sleeves and this is not a fight for a government, for a president. It is a fight for the entire community which includes the DPP. It includes DEC (Drug Enforcement Commission). It includes ACC (Anti-Corruption Commission). It includes the police. It includes every Zambian.”

Mumba warned that if the fight against corruption does not succeed the country’s fortunes would continuously be compromised.

“If we don’t succeed in our fight against corruption, our fortunes as a nation will continue to be compromised and abused only by a privileged few. We therefore, take great exception to the behaviour of the DPP. We single her out because we believe that law is an issue of looking at technicalities, try to opt out on technical aspects,” he said. “We believe that law exists alongside common sense with a desire to resolve an issue. If somebody was accused of stealing a car from a house, later on some evidence came that probably it was not him and he is let go, and later on some more evidence is found that incriminates that person that truly he is the one who stole that vehicle, the agencies have got a constitutional right to effect arrest on him or her. You cannot cry foul that I released that person you arrested again.”

Mumba said human beings do not offend once. “They can offend twice, thrice and even a hundred times and for each one of those 100, they must be arrested and brought to book and made to account. And that is why we find the behaviour of the DPP to be extremely un-Zambian, unprofessional and totally uncalled for,” he said. “We commend DEC for being alert in dealing with these issues and it is not about (former Konkola Copper Mines provisional liquidator) Milingo [Lungu]. It is just about any other Zambian, even if it were myself.”

Mumba said investigative wings had a right to pursue the obligations for which they existed for.

“I think we need to ensure that officers like the DPP are asked serious questions. Our position today is the DPP must pull away from obstructing justice and from trying to protect a few against prosecution. If there is no case with Mr Milingo, he shall be released like all others that are being asked questions by the State,” said Mumba. “Our dear lady in the DPP’s office is way out of line in the manner that she has handled this case. And we encourage the DEC to proceed and ensure that if there is a case that our brother Mr Milingo needs to answer, let him acquit himself and give us his side of the story. It is called justice.”

Siyunyi has come under fire over her leaked letter to Drug Enforcement Commission director general Mary Chirwa over the rearresting of Milingo Lungu.

In her letter, Siyunyi stated that, “Further, my Office has received information from lawyers, Messrs Sakwiba Sikota, SC and Moses Chitambala, representing the above person that he has been re-arrested on the same charge that my Office entered Nolle Prosequi. My Office has not issued any instructions for you to re-arrest on the same charges. Your actions are ultra vires the Constitution which gives this Office the mandate to give instructions on prosecution of matters. You are been called upon to urgently explain the basis of your actions which are an abrogation of the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of Zambia. Kindly be informed that on matters of prosecution you do not act independent from this Office. You are guided henceforth. I await your urgent response.”
The ruling UPND in Lusaka has demanded the DPP’s resignation charging that she is frustrating the fight against corruption.
The Law Association of Zambia said provisions of Article 180 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2016 as read with section 8 of the national prosecutions authority Act, 2010, make it clear that the DPP has exclusive powers in “instituting and undertaking criminal prosecutions before any court of law”.

“However, this exclusive mandate of the DPP does not extend to directing or instructing when, who and why to arrest or re-arrest any suspect by DEC or any other law enforcement agency in the exercise of their legal mandate, before or after a nolle prosequi has been entered,” stated LAZ honorary secretary Sokwani Peter Chilembo. “LAZ has since shared this position with the Attorney General [Mulilo Kabesha] and the respective offices to address the situation, for good order, promotion of the rule of law and entrenching democratic principles in the country.”


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