STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
PROMINENT Lusaka lawyer Sakwiba Sikota has come to the defence of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Siyuni and urged people not to doubt the autonomy of her office’s decisions.
Mr Sikota, who is a State counsel, says Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland has equally categorically stated that the DPP makes decisions on her own and in public interest.
He said in an interview yesterday that the DPP is a person with powers to do things as she deems fit in accordance with the Constitution.
“One has to look at what an eminent lawyer [Ms Scotland] has stated concerning the DPP. She said the DPP is a person who has powers to do things as she sees fit in line with the supreme law [Constitution],” Mr Sikota said.
Mr Sikota said Ms Siyuni makes decisions which are in public interest.
“If you look at what Ms Scotland said, then you will know the calibre of a DPP we have as a nation. Those sentiments are coming from the Commonwealth secretary-general herself. Surely, a commendation from the Commonwealth secretary-general is worth believing,” he said.
Mr Sikota said Ms Scotland is a very high judicial officer who understands what she said.
“Unless people also want to start attacking the Commonwealth secretary-general, then they can continue attacking the DPP,” he said.
During her visit to Zambia early this month, Ms Scotland said the office of the DPP is an independent one which makes decisions without any due influence.
There have been sustained attacks on Ms Siyuni with some sections of society alleging that she gets instructions from political offices.
This follows a number of nolle prosequi entries she has registered in some court cases, especially those of political nature.
On Monday, Minister of Justice Given Lubinda also explained that the DPP is only answerable to the Constitution and herself, and does not get instructions from any political office as being insinuated by some people.