SYLVIA Masebo is a high profiled member of the UPND who cannot be prosecuted by a private lawyer who has applied to contest in the August elections on a Patriotic Front ticket because it can present conflict of interest, lawyers defending the PF Chongwe Member of Parliament have submitted.
This is in a matter in which lawyer Mr Yosa Yosa from Sangwa and Simeza Advocate wants the court to remove Makebi Zulu from prosecuting Ms Masebo because the prosecutor has applied to stand on PF ticket which they claim could result in political conflict between Makebi and Masebo.
Mr Yosa was making submissions when the court granted the defence an application to raise preliminary issues in a matter in which Masebo is charged for abuse of authority of her office the time she allegedly fired former Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) officers without following laid down procedures.
He contended that it was on record from newspaper publications and online media that Mr Zulu from Makebi Zulu Advocates applied to contest for Malambo constituency seat on the PF ticket and that such a decision could result in political conflict because it is a ‘‘notorious fact’’ that Masebo was a high profile member of the UPND.
Mr Yosa said it was a well-known fact that Ms Masebo’s case was a politically charged matter. Therefore, it was cardinal that the independence of the prosecution must be considered.
In response, Mr Zulu contended that it Masebo was Chongwe Member of Parliament for the Patriotic Front.
He said the question of whether he should be removed from the proceedings should not be entertained because Article 180 of the Constitution gives the DPP mandate to appoint and disappoint any prosecutor to the proceedings.
Mr Zulu said in the conduct of Ms Masebo’s prosecution he disagreed that there was any political conduct that suggested any political prejudice on the part of Masebo because she was not a UPND member, but a PF parliamentarian for Chongwe constituency.
He contended that the fact that he had applied to stand on PF ticket was not an indication that Masebo was his opponent to have the ‘‘unnecessary animus’ against her, adding that his constituency was Malambo and not Chongwe.
Mr Zulu said it was clear on record that he acted for MMD president Nevers Mumba, UPND vice president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and on matters against the PF which clearly proved that his professional duty was paramount.
He was proud to mention that Makebi Zulu, PNP and Keith Mweemba Advocates were good at what they were doing and he was not going to apologise for what they do good, he said.
Mr Zulu accused the defence of trying to infringe on his constitutional right of association which had no bearing on the proceedings because he was of the considered view that the job of the prosecution was to lay evidence before court and that the court had discretion to make its own independent decision.
He asked the court to throw out the application because it lacked merit.
Magistrate Irene Wishimanga has adjourned the matter to April 21 for ruling.