The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Siyuni has proposed an amendment to the law to introduce penalties for people with a tendency of recanting or withdrawing court cases. She is alleging bribery by suspects as the main cause.
She laments that the tendency by victims to withdraw abruptly was terribly affecting her work due to the huge waste of time spent on cases that ended up closed.
Did the DPP apply her mind to the proposal? I do not think so.
It is true that suspects, especially assault ones, tend to pay their victims so as to withdraw their cases. Wives and husbands also tend to withdraw GBV cases against their spouses. Boyfriends and girlfriends, and others, who are related in one way or the other do withdraw cases after monetary gains or family interventions. The question is: should victims be punished for withdrawal of cases?
I do not think the DPP fully understands the consequences, especially to the State, if punishment were to be handed down to persons that withdrawal cases. First of all, if punishment be meted out, it should be done to the State and to individuals. For what is good for the goose must be good for the gander. If bribery is the reason why individuals enter nolle prosequi, then bribery is the reason why the DPP always enters nolles. If corruption is the reason why individuals enter nolle prosequis, then the same is the reason why the DPP always enters nolles.
Thus, if individuals must be punished for entering nolle prosequis, then the DPP must be punished for doing so too.
And looking at cases that the DPP enters nolles, e.g. the treason case against Hakainde Hichilema and fives others, the State would be paying colossal sums on account of nolle prosequis which the DPP enters time and time again.
So, Ba DPP, tondolo musuma. Dont start a fight you will regret sooner rather than later.
Already, government is grappling with the payment of retirees per Constitution Amendment 2016. And also grappling with the provisions to do with ministers from within or outside parliament. K75,000 bills pending to be paid. Now, government wants to reverse the Articles through Bill 10.
Don’t start fights from all fronts. Sinkamba Peter