Mike Mulongoti says Director of Public Prosecutions Lillian Shawa’s office is worryingly biased and is acting like an extended wing of State House.
Mulongoti has backed calls by ADD leader Charles Milupi for Shawa to resign to save the integrity of the DDP’s office.
Mulongoti stated that Shawa’s bias was evidenced in the manner her office was handling court cases involving opposition political party leaders.
“The office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) is worryingly biased and operating like an extended wing of State House as evidenced by the manner in which they have handled cases involving opposition political leaders,” Mulongoti stated.
He said Shawa should resign due to lack of professionalism, which had resulted in the office of the DPP doing a disservice to the people of Zambia.
“We strongly agree with ADD president, Charles Milupi, that the current DPP needs to resign from this highly respected office due to the glaring lack of professionalism being exhibited under her watch. It’s important that the nation realises that the DPP is doing a disservice to the general citizenry by allowing such a noble office to be used as a conduit to incarcerate innocent people merely because they support the opposition party,” Mulongoti stated.
“The current DPP has elected to be on the wrong side of history by deliberately siding with those who blatantly violate and suppress the rights of innocent Zambians. When former Republican president Rupiah Banda was acquitted by the courts, the DPP didn’t appeal the judgment. This is despite the obvious evidence of malpractices under his reign. It’s not a hidden secret that Rupiah Banda was very instrumental in Edgar Lungu’s re-election bid. As a matter of fact, the State entered a consent Judgment in the Rupiah Banda case. The question is who gave the directive that the state enters consent so as to set Rupiah Banda free? I should make mention here that one day someone will have to tell the nation where that directive came from because such a directive can only come from the President or the National Assembly Speaker.”
He stated that he was disappointed with the unprofessional manner in which some judges in the country were behaving.
“More still, this consent judgment was presided over by just a single judge; Anne Mwewa Sitali. This is the same judge who was at the epicentre of the controversy that surrounded the Constitutional Court presidential petition hearing. Rupiah Banda canvassed the country with Edgar Lungu during the campaign period. It wouldn’t be strange for one to conclude that Banda’s questionable consent judgment was a token of appreciation from the powers that be for the role he played in ensuring that Lungu went to State House in 2015. Further still, the DPP didn’t appeal Dora Siliya’s foggy acquittal. They played a blind eye to this case without fully exhausting the available channels. Dora Siliya consequently is now a full cabinet minister in the Patriotic Front (PF) government. There is no prize for guessing why the DPP didn’t appeal her acquittal. UPND member and former tourism minister, Sylvia Masebo, was recently acquitted on charges of abuse of office by the Lusaka Magistrates’ Courts. Before Masebo could even pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate her victory, the DPP filed in documents to appeal her acquittal. This action has surprised many Zambians leading them to believe that there is an invisible political hand pulling strings in the DPP’s office. Even Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) questioned this action through a strong statement released to the media,” Mulongoti stated.
“TIZ challenged the DPP to also appeal the acquittals of Dora Siliya and Maxwell Mwale. According to TIZ, Siliya and Mwale were facing similar charges to that of Masebo. TIZ emphasized on the fact that if the DPP didn’t appeal these two acquittals then this would be misconstrued as a political persecution. TIZ was right. The fact that none of these cases were appealed, gives credence to the fact that the office of the DPP doesn’t seek to pursue real justice but is being used to harass political opponents. The DPP is clearly not acting in the public interest but in the quest to wrongly appease those that roam the corridors of power.”
He wondered why Shawa opted to remain mute when Obvious Mwaliteta and his co-accused who were slapped with a charge of aggravated robbery when she was aware that the charge was fake.
“The case of former Lusaka Province minister and now UPND member, Obvious Mwaliteta, is heart wrenching. Mwaliteta alongside his co-accused were slapped with a charge of aggravated robbery when the DPP knew very well that there was no evidence to charge them with such a capital offence. The DPP agreed to charging them with a non-bailable offence meaning Mwaliteta and his co-accused were to be incarcerated in the deplorable Zambian prisons throughout the duration of their trial. Mwaliteta and his co-accused were on Tuesday released after the judge found them with no case to answer. The case was not even strong enough to go for trial and yet the DPP consented to charging them with a capital offence, an offence that carries a penalty of life imprisonment or death. What kind of DPP do we have that feels nothing about wasting away innocent men’s lives in prison over trumped up charges?” asked Mulongoti.
“Even social media bloggers such as Laura Miti have questioned the DPP’s appalling disparities and contradictions. Very few Zambians have faith in this once very respectful office because it’s clearly not independent and is being driven by political interest. We will not even bother to delve into the incarceration of the UPND president, Hakainde Hichilema, because you don’t have to go to law school to know that the Mongu motorcade incident was not an act of treason. The treason charge is laughable, embarrassing and really exposes the DPP. The levels of patronage and politicisation we are witnessing under the current DPP are unprecedented. It’s evidently clear that she’s failing to withstand pressure from the authorities and lacks professional judgment. There is need to call a spade a spade. This DPP is overly biased towards the PF and Edgar Lungu.”