Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale says she discontinued the case against People’s Party (PP) spokesperson Ken Msonda because lawyers representing the concerned group bypassed her office in starting the case.
Briefing Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee in Lilongwe yesterday, Kachale said she has not carried out investigations for her office to prosecute the case, but has advised the concerned citizens to seek consent from her office to resume criminal proceedings against Msonda albeit under a different case number.
The committee summoned Kachale to give justification for discontinuing the case in which Msonda allegedly made remarks on Facebook suggesting that homosexuals whom he described as “sons and daughters of the devil” should be killed.
Speaking after Kachale’s appearance before the committee, chairperson of the committee, Peter informed them that she had no record of herself giving consent for private prosecution as mandated by the Constitution.Chakhwantha, said the DPP
Kachale withdrew the case in pursuant of Section 77 (1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code.
She told the committee that the lawyer representing the concerned citizens, Khumbo Soko, went as far as describing the case as The Republic vs Kenneth Msonda when it was not the State prosecuting the case, according to Chakhwantha.
He said: “The law allows for private citizens to commence criminal proceedings but procedure has to be followed. But even then, the DPP is mandated to discontinue any case and give reasons to the Legal Affairs Committee within a specified period of time.”
Chakhwantha added that the committee appreciated the DPP’s explanation and a resolution would be made and provided to the whole House in due course.
Soko, who represented Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), said he could not comment on the remarks by the DPP.
“On instructions from my client, I wrote the DPP to give reasons for discontinuing the case but she did not respond so as far as I am concerned we are still in the dark,” Soko said.
Msonda was dragged to court for allegedly acting contrary to Section 124 (1) (b) of the Penal Code.