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DPP still controls prosecution—Titus Mvalo

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By Wezzie Gausi

Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo has said the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has the final say in terms of prosecution in Malawi despite President Lazarus Chakwera assenting to the amended Corrupt Practices Act (CPA).

The CPA gives the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) powers to prosecute cases without seeking consent from the DPP but Mvalo told reporters in Lilongwe yesterday that the DPP has the power to take over the prosecution and determine whether to continue or discontinue a case.

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He said that this can only be done after submitting it to the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament.

“The CPA has been amended but the DPP is still on top of the game in as far as prosecution is concerned in Malawi. The position of the DPP is in the Constitution of Malawi with an aim of having one central position to have prosecution powers,” Mvalo said.

The minister further said the CPA will come into effect immediately after it is gazetted.

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“The CPA has come at the right time as it will give power to ACB to bring cases to court with speed. As a ministry, we are happy that things will now start working at ACB in terms of prosecution,” he added.

Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament Chairperson Peter Dimba said it is true that the DPP is the in-charge of all prosecution in Malawi, according to the Constitution.

He said the DPP can take over a case or discontinue a case so long he notifies the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament.

“By amending Section 42 of the CPA, what we are saying is that despite the powers the DPP has, the ACB will not need to seek consent of the DPP in order to prosecute the corruption cases because the consent provisions was seen as an impediment to expeditious prosecution of corruption cases,” Dimba said.

On September 9, 2022, President Lazarus Chakwera assented to seven bills that were recently passed in Parliament, including the amended Corrupt Practices Act of 2022.

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