Home Affairs Deputy Minister Ngosa Simbyakula says the District Attorneys’ office will enhance the human rights of suspects and bring about speedy dispensation of justice. Home Affairs Deputy Minister Ngosa Simbyakula says the District Attorneys’ office will enhance the human rights of suspects and bring about speedy dispensation of justice.
Speaking in an interview, Dr. Simbyakula said suspects would only be arrested once the district attorney was satisfied that the evidence against the suspect was enough to go to court.
“We want to reduce incidences of arresting innocent people. The District Attorneys will be qualified lawyers who will be the ones to decide whether or not to arrest someone,” he said. “We want to enhance the rights of suspects.”
Dr. Simbyakula said suspects would go to court 48 hours after being arrested contrary to the current situation.
“We do not want people to stay in cells endlessly without trial,” he said.
Dr. Simbyakula said the bulk of criminal offences; which was about 95 per cent, at the moment took place in the subordinate court.
“There are very few that go straight to the high court, for example, cases like murder and aggravated robbery. But the rest like corruption are dealt with at the magistrate court. And right now the people who are prosecuting in the magistrate court are police officers under Ministry of Home Affairs which should not be the case,” he said.
“So once the district attorneys are established, the prosecutors who are in the police service will be de-linked from there and will fall under the National Prosecutions Authority. They will be reporting to these district attorneys and they will cease to be police,” he added.
Dr. Simbyakula explained that the district attorney would be the head of prosecutions in the district but that above him would be the provincial attorney overseeing prosecutions.
“Then there will be the national head of prosecutions. The district attorney will look after the prosecutors in that particular district,” Dr. Simbyakula said.
He said implementation would start in the first quarter of next year.
“The structure has already been approved. And the  budget made provisions for the National Prosecutions authority,” Dr. Simbyakula said.
He said the core unit of the plan, which was the DPP, is what would be consolidated.
“The current DPP is what we want to consolidate. It will become a standalone institution beneath which all these provincial and district attorneys will fall including prosecutors,” Dr. Simbyakula said.
He said the pilot phase would be in places with high courts such as Lusaka, Livingstone, Ndola, Kabwe and Kitwe.
“It is decentralisation because we are taking justice to the people,” said Dr Simbyakula.