Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chalwe Mchenga has declined to authorize the private prosecution of an MMD member,Chris Chalwe, who assaulted journalists working for Times of Zambia and the Post.
According to a press release made available to the Watchdog, Zambian media groups had retained lawyer Musa Mwenye as their private prosecutor to undertake the action but on 2nd September 2009, the lawyers informed the clients of the DPP’s refusal to authorize the prosecution
The magistrate handling the matter had last week on September 28, 2009, adjourned the matter to next week to allow for the private prosecutors to join the prosecution team under the DPP’s authority.
The media groups will in the meantime issue fresh instructions to its lawyers on how they proceed with the matter. The media groups will closely watch the proceedings of the case.
The coalition of media groups that hired the private prosecutors are the: Press Association of Zambia, Media Institute of Southern Africa, Press Freedom Committee of the Post, Zambia Union of Journalists, and the Zambia Media Women Association.
The media groups engaged private prosecutors to reinforce the state prosecution with a hope of getting a more transparent and fair proceedings.
We shall continue to watch with keen interest on how the matter progress while calling for fair justice.