Government wants ACB Act changes delayed

Peter Dimba

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Titus Mvalo Monday disclosed that his ministry wants the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament to delay its decision of amending the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) meant to facilitate the independence of the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Last week, the committee said it would bring before Parliament a Private Member’s Motion and Bill to amend Section 42 of the CPA.

The section in question requires the graft-busting body to seek consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) before prosecuting anyone.


The decision arose following an inquiry the committee conducted into circumstances that led to the DPP withholding consent from the ACB, which wanted to go ahead with the prosecution of Ashok Nair for his alleged involvement in a corruption-related case.

Mvalo said, after meeting committee chairperson Peter Dimba, they agreed to meet all committee members.

It is expected that Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda and DPP Steven Kayuni will also attend the meeting and inform committee members about the ministry’s position on the matter.


Mvalo said the government had come up with a National Prosecution Policy that intends to address problems associated with prosecution and like issues.

“When it [the National Prosecution Policy] comes into place, then we would need to amend the law so that it should be aligned to the policy. In my view, that would be the right point to amend, not just the Corrupt Practices Act. Even the Penal Code and other laws that relate to the prosecution of cases [have to be included],” he said.

The justice minister said the policy covers wider areas such that, after its implementation, it would lead to the creation of a National Prosecution Authority, allowing several people to be in charge of public prosecutions.

In its enquiry on the consent matter, the committee summoned both ACB Director General Martha Chizuma and Kayuni and concluded that Section 42 interferes with the independence of the graft-fighting body.

Dimba said all committee members made the resolution.

“It was difficult for me to provide immediate responses to the minister since the report was produced by the committee,” he said.

Last week, Dimba said the committee would bring a motion and bill to Parliament.

However, some lawyers have argued that amending provisions of the Act would contravene Section 99 of the Constitution, which mandates the DPP to be above anyone, or institutions, in the management of criminal cases in the country.

One of the lawyers, George Kadzipatike, last week said the office of DPP was created by the supreme law of the land while the ACB office is created by an Act of Parliament, hence the amendment would not stop the DPP from exercising powers that are provided for in the Constitution

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker