Socialist Zambia President, Fred M’membe has spoken out against what he called a “shameless abuse of the criminal justice system.” M’membe’s statement posted on has Facebook page today is in response to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision to enter a nolle in the case against Mumbi Phiri on the day she was set to be acquitted.
M’membe stated that it was clear that the case against Phiri had collapsed and that the DPP knew she was going to be acquitted. He went on to ask why the DPP would enter a nolle after keeping Phiri in prison for 300 days. M’membe suggested that it was either to re-arrest her and start fresh prosecutions or to save himself the embarrassment of having her acquitted.
According to M’membe, this kind of conduct has completely undermined and discredited Zambia’s criminal justice system and the DPP’s independence and integrity. He also warned that this sends a dangerous signal that the criminal justice system can be used to persecute and fix opponents of those in power.
M’membe’s statement comes amid growing concerns about the state of Zambia’s criminal justice system. Many have criticized the government for using the system to silence political opponents and suppress dissent.
M’membe called for the statutory powers of the DPP to enter nolles to be reasonably exercised and in good faith. He also urged the government to take action to restore public trust in the criminal justice system and ensure that it is not used for political purposes.
There is a debate about the state of Zambia’s criminal justice system and the role of the government in ensuring its independence and integrity. Many are calling for an investigation into the decision to enter a nolle in Phiri’s case and for measures to be put in place to prevent similar abuses in the future.