Wednesday, April 17, 2024

NGOCC Board Chairperson Urges Zambian Government to Reform Justice System after Release of Mumbi Phiri on Nolle Prosequi

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Non-Governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Board Chairperson, Ms. Grace Sinkamba, has called on the Zambian government to review the country’s justice system, which she believes is in need of reform to make it more just and humane. During a media briefing held at the Mary Kazunga Hall in Lusaka on Thursday, 6th April 2023, Ms. Sinkamba stated that some of the laws currently on Zambia’s statute books continue to defy the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”

“It is clear from the proceedings that there wasn’t any evidence linking Ms. Phiri to the murder. However, instead of being acquitted, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) entered a nolle. While we appreciate that the DPP has the right to enter a nolle prosequi, any time before Judgement, we strongly recommend that there is a need for the country to reform the law to clip some of these powers off the office of the Director of Prosecutions which are subject to abuse,” said Ms. Sinkamba.

Ms. Phiri, who was the Patriotic Front (PF) Deputy Secretary General, was co-accused of the murder of a United Party for National Development (UPND) cadre, Lawrence Banda. She spent over a year in the Mongu Correctional Centre before being released on a nolle prosequi on Wednesday, 5th April 2023, just 24 hours before the judgment was to be delivered. Ms. Sinkamba expressed concern about the abuse of the legal process and called for the immediate review of the law to ensure that citizens are not punished for crimes they did not commit.

“We as the women’s movement call for the immediate review of our law to ensure that citizens are not punished for crimes that they did not commit. We still have a number of laws within our statutes that run against the spirit and letter of our Republican Constitution,” said Ms. Sinkamba.

Ms. Sinkamba also expressed sympathy for the family of Lawrence Banda and urged political leaders to avoid violence and focus on issue-based politics. “We want to implore our political leaders to be more issue-based and avoid any form of political violence that would lead to the loss of life as was the case in Kaoma, where Lawrence Banda was killed in cold blood,” she said.

Furthermore, Ms. Sinkamba called on the government to provide a clear road map on holding a national referendum for the inclusion of the expanded Bill of Rights in the Constitution. “May we take the opportunity to once again call upon the new dawn administration to facilitate a Constitutional review process to address the gaps in our national law. It is clearly evident that Zambia needs a credible and transparent constitutional review process that will help to consolidate our country’s democracy in deed and not only word,” she added.

8 COMMENTS

  1. When people booted out the PF they expected a new lease of life but we have done a 365 degree turn… hatred and vengeance are priority number one. Meanwhile economically we getting worse with our staple food becoming scarce with each passing day. It’s time to end this cycle of hatred.

  2. Welcome back home mother. Don’t worry karma will sort these upnd thugs out. Mutinta hichilema will be arrested shortly after 2026. She is a very corrupt woman

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  3. Some of the laws currently on Zambia’s statutes continue to defy the principle of Democracy. One law was defamation of the president as a crime. HH’s washing his hands off this law has only left our puppy police so lost they are trying to invent their own substitutes each time they feel they have to arrest Tayalis and Tembos.
    The ZNBC act also needs to be changed to suit our new democratic republic. ZNBC needs to become a Public broadcaster not the State Broadcaster it is. There must be a law establishing ZNBC’s independence and protecting it from control by any of the three wings of governance.

    • Until we have a president who is transparent and honest and regularly holds public conference, ZNBC will continue to be controlled.
      But thankfully, ZNBC has been bogged down with political bureaucracy that is is no longer attractive to the population and people get their news on social media.

    • ZNBC will continue to be controlled if we dont change the current law that makes it answerable to the Executive. Thats what makes ZNBC a State Broadcaster. However in a democracy we need a Public broadcaster. A public broadcaster is independent and may answer only to Parliament
      Presently the Ministry of Broadcasting and Media appoints ZNBC DG and board and everyone thinks that is okay in a democracy? No The Executive cant control freedom of media or freedom of speech because its not higher than the Judiciary or the Legislature. All the three wings of governance must enjoy freedom of expression

  4. Instead of making progress in our justice system we are hell-bent on revenge. Hopefully it will not be too late for UPND to reform the justice system like in a truly democratic Nation with truly free preople in the land of the free or cry foul like PF is crying when they leave office.

    Advice to UPND, when you have a chance to make good laws use it wisely or cry foul later on don’t be hell-bent on revenge…

  5. At the moment the biggest problem that Zambia has isn’t the system or lack of reforms but people of less or no integrity in decision making positions. Even with an old Constitution that was said to lack many provisions and required review we had better governance. Even without the new Courts we had some semblance of justice delivered. Now even after recent reforms we’re already calling for reforms. The reason is that shameless liars and nincompoops are in charge

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