Another Judge dismisses petition against DPP in Chiluba acquital

Lusaka based High Court judge Phillip Musonda has dismisses the case in which Munali PF MP Mumbi Phiri was seeking  judicial review on the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to withdraw an appeal against Frederick Chiluba’s acquittal.

Judge Musonda ruled on January 8, 2010 that Mumbi’s application for Judicial review was ill-fated from the beginning.

This is in a matter where Phiri cited the DPP Chalwe Mchenga and former Attorney General Mumba Malila as the first and second respondents respectively following the withdrawal of a Notice of Appeal in respect of Chiluba’s acquittal.

On 17 December 2009, another Lusaka High Court Judge dismissed Lusaka lawyer Kelvin Hang’andu’s petition over the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to withdraw an appeal involving former Republican president Frederick Chiluba.

High Court Judge Gregory Phiri said in his ruling that Mr Hang’andu’s petition was improperly taken to court and that its cause was speculative in nature, form and bore an unclear cause of action.

In the Mumbi Phiri case, Judge Musonda said that there was no illegality or procedural impropriety committed by the DPP.

“He was exercising his powers under the constitution… those that feel that the prosecutional independence should be diminished , should understand that it is not for the judiciary to so decide, but bodies mandated to amend, alter or remake the constitution. If that were done Zambia may be the only country in the commonwealth to diminish that independence,’ said Judge Musonda in the case where Mumbi Phiri was represented by PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba.

Judge Musonda who made no order as to costs said that there is no power in the court to require the reasons to be furnished as to why the DPP proposes to enter a nolle prosequi and that the court can not refuse the exercise of the power by the DPP.

Judge Musonda said that the non-interference in the DPP’ s duties has global resonance and appeal that has spanned centuries and transcendent continents.

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