The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is deeply concerned by the events that have surrounded the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mutembo Nchito.
The Association is shocked by the reported maneuvers by Law Enforcement Agencies in executing an arrest against Mr. Nchito which is in disregard with law and his reported subsequent arrest as it is in clear contravention of the High Court order staying the executing of the arrest warrant.
In a statement to Qfm News LAZ President George Chisanga says his Association is of the view filing of criminal charges against a sitting DPP on grounds that have been made public is unprecedented in the country and evidences a radical departure from the established practice of handling complaints.
Mr. Chisanga says the person holding the office of DPP enjoys the security of tenure under the constitution which under article 58 provides that the DPP can only be removed from office for incompetence or inability to perform functions of his office through illness or misbehavior.
He says his association also thinks that the issuing of an arrest warrant by a magistrate of a subordinate court without lawful authority to do so calls into question not only the credibility and legitimacy of the Judiciary but that it is also a serious and fundamental abrogation of the constitutionality enshrined in the independence of the office of the DPP and does not accord with the rule of law in Zambia.
The LAZ president notes that if these maneuvers are not guarded against they can have grave negative effects on the Criminal Justice system in the country.
He says LAZ would like to see full compliance with the provisions of the constitution which regulates the removal of a DPP from office.
Mr. Chisanga has disclosed that in order to ensure the due process and the legality of the handling of the public allegations against Mr. Nchito, his association will be contacting the Inspector General of Police, the Acting Attorney General and the Executive in a bid to give counsel on this matter.
He notes that his association further expects that president Edgar Lungu will intervene to this threat of the due process and constitutionality which has the potential of setting a very dangerous precedent in handling cases of alleged impropriety and misconduct against holders of constitutional offices.