PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu must immediately remove embattled Mutembo Nchito from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and save the little integrity remaining in the office as the current holder has abused his authority as demonstrated by his entering a nolle prosequi in his favour.
Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali said President Lungu has no choice now but to remove Mr. Nchito from the office of the DPP for allegedly embarrassing the President.
And Lusaka lawyer Sakwiba Sikota said that it was a clear abuse of authority of office which amounts to corruption for Mr Nchito to have stopped his prosecution for offences he was alleged to have committed.
Mr. Tayali said Mr. Nchito’s action to enter a nolle in his own matter was a clear sign of lack of respect for the rule of law and the office he holds.
He said President Lungu should redeem the office of the DPP by looking beyond Mr. Nchito as some of the offences he was facing were committed before he became DPP.
“It is clear now that Mr. Nchito wanted that job of DPP to protect himself from prosecution looking at his conduct. The rule of natural justice states that you cannot be a judge in your own matter but that is what Mr. Nchito did. That is total abuse of office and I therefore, challenge President Lungu to use his power to protect the Constitution he swore to uphold by suspending Mr. Nchito pending the constitution of a tribunal to investigate all the transgressions levelled against him,” said Mr. Tayali.
He said paying a blind eye to the issues surrounding Mr. Nchito would not help clean the office of the DPP which Mr. Nchito has allegedly abused.
“It’s shocking to see the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito enter a nolle prosequi in the matter he is facing for alleged criminal charges.
“I have to remind President Lungu that he (Mutembo) holds a constitution office and as such a Nolle Prosequi should not be used for the purpose of frustrating the due process of law but to make sure justice is done,” said Mr. Tayali.
And Mr Sikota said it was a dangerous disregard of the rule of law for Mr Nchito to selflessly believe that rules that applied to others do not apply to him and could therefore “acquit” himself even before he could take plea on the offences he had been accused.
Mr Sikota advised Zambians to look out for people in positions of power and influence who developed superior traits, warning that such leaders often had no respect for other people and the rule of law because they believed they could do anything because they had the power to do so.
Mr Sikota said going by last week’s precedent where Mr Nchito as DPP entered a nolle prosequi in favour of himself, there was a danger that a judge who has been accused of an offence could allocate the case to himself.
“If the judge in charge at some district court is sued, the case has to be allocated to a judge to preside over.
“The person with the power to allocate the case is judge-in-charge. Using the precedent set of a wave of selfies across Zambia, the judge-in-charge can allocate the case where he is being accused, to himself. Thereafter he can dismiss the case and even condemn the plaintiff to punitive and aggravated costs,” Mr Sikota said.