Government has said that it is struggling to calculate the cost of cases which are taking a long time to conclude.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, said this on Tuesday when officials from the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs appeared before a cluster of two parliamentary committees: Legal Affairs and Privileges.
“We have been struggling to calculate [the cost]. It is something we have raised already,” Kachale said.
She, however, told the cluster committee that calculating the cost of white-collar crimes takes time.
The question was raised after Director of Finance and Administration in the Ministry, George Masinga, made a presentation to the MPs on the ministry’s 2017/2018 budget.
Ntchisi North Member of Parliament, Boniface Kadzamira, specifically raised the issue of the corruption case involving former president Bakili Muluzi.
“How long will it take [to conclude the case]? How much has been spent on the case?” Kadzamira asked.
Muluzi was arrested on fraud and corruption charges in 2006 before the charges were dropped. He was arrested again in 2009 and initially charged with 86 counts of corruption and abuse of office. The case is yet to be concluded.
According to a presentation made to the two committees, the DPP’s office has planned to prosecute 1, 200 cases in the categories of homicide, general crimes, confirmations and appeals.
“To prosecute 10 white-collar crimes; to clear backlog of cases by archiving, determining the way forward and executing the plan,” reads the document.
A total of K3.2 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, out of which K1.05 billion will go to the DPP.
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