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‘HH had nothing to do with Milingo re-arrest’

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

THE PRESIDENT had no hand in the re-arrest of former Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu as the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) acted on its own, Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha has argued.

Mr Kabesha contends that a decision or instruction of the President is required to be in writing under his signature and there is no such instruction or interference with the autonomy of the investigative wings.

He has thus urged the Constitutional Court to dismiss a petition by Governance activist, Isaac Mwanza, in which he wants the court to declare as unconstitutional President Hakainde Hichilema’s action to find the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Siyunyi incapable of being in her office before investigations are carried out.

Mr Mwanza contends that the action by the President during a press conference on Monday contravenes Articles144 (2), 91(3) (a) (e) and 180(7) of the Constitution.

He said it is unconstitutional for the President to summon and discuss criminal cases with the Anti-Corruption Commission, compelling investigative agencies to reopen closed cases, and issuance of instructions amount to political interference in the discharge of functions by law enforcement agencies.

He is also seeking declaration that the announcement by the Executive through Minister of Justice Mulambo Haimbe that it has found anomalies in the conduct of the DPP, in the absence of a legitimate body undertaking an inquiry breaches the law.

Mr Mwanza seeks that that the directive by Mr Haimbe  to the Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC) on how to handle the intended proceedings against the DPP violates Article 144(2) of the Constitution, and thus illegal.

In an affidavit in opposition to the petition, Mr Kabesha said the statement by Mr Haimbe that there were lapses in the office of DPP which required thorough , independent and fair investigation by relevant bodies does not in any way infringe on the independence of the JCC.

He said the Head of State has never interfered with the autonomy of the ACC, DEC and JCC.

Mr Kabesha also contends that Mr Mwanza has no locus standi to state that JCC chairperson Mr Vincent Malambo and Mr Chad Muleza will be conflicted to deal with the complaints against the DPP.

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