Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Executive Director Wesley Chibamba has urged Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Shawa Siyunyi to act in public interest and not political interest.
In a statement unveiled to Pan African Radio today, Chibamba observed that the DPP has appealed against the acquittal of former tourism Minister Silvia Masebo and has since welcomed the move by the DPP but has also challenged her to appeal against the recent acquittals of Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya and Maxwell Mwale.
Chibamba believes that the DPP will also appeal the acquittals of Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya and Maxwell Mwale owing to the fact that the duo faced similar charges to that of Silvia Masebo and they were acquitted a few weeks ago.
Chibamba added if the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Shawa Siyunyi will not appeal against the two acquittals she will otherwise risks the Masebo appeal to be misconstrued as political persecution, trying to fix political opponents rather genuine pursuit of justice for the Zambian people.
And Chibamba noted that the office of the DPP has often contradicted itself through their actions when it comes to public interest, adding that it is the same office that appealed the constitutional court judgement that Ministers who remained in office after dissolution of parliament did so illegally and should refund the Government the emoluments they enjoyed during that period.
“We challenge the DPP to also appeal against the recent acquittals of Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya and Maxwell Mwale” Chibamba said
Early this week, the state appealed against the Lusaka Magistrate Court’s decision to acquit former Minister of Tourism, Sylvia Masebo.
In the matter, Ms. Masebo was accused of abuse of authority of office, when she allegedly directed the then Zambia Wildlife Authority -ZAWA- to cancel the tender for the hunting blocks.
Ms. Masebo was however acquitted by the Lusaka Magistrate Court.
But the Director of Public Prosecutions -DPP- has argued that Magistrate Ireen Wishimanga was not balanced in her analysis of the evidence, as she only concentrated on flaws and not the strength of the arguments.
The DPP has further argued that Magistrate Wishimanga misdirected herself, when she ruled that the decisions by Ms. Masebo to direct ZAWA to cancel the tender did not amount to abuse of authority of office.
The commission has added that the lower court erred, when it accepted hear-say, as evidence from one of the witness.
This is contained in a statement of appeal filed in the High Court.