The Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament has confirmed Steve Kayuni as Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Kayuni was appointed by President Lazarus Chakwera last month subject to confirmation by PAC.
In an interview yesterday, PAC chairperson Joyce Chitsulo confirmed that the committee met and confirmed Kayuni as DPP.
She said: “We were convinced as a committee that he was the right person, looking at his qualification, work experience. We also wanted someone who is innovative. Someone who can identify gaps and come up with solutions. He demonstrated that he is capable.”
According to Chitsulo, Kayuni scored 23.1 out of 25. Based on their rating, one needs to score 17 to pass.
Among other things, the rating looks at the candidate’s academic qualifications, work experience and innovation.
She said the committee was satisfied with the appointment, saying Kayuni has experience in handling both civil and criminal cases which is crucial for the position.
Chitsulo added that while PAC has cleared Kayuni, the Clerk of Parliament will have to communicate about his confirmation.
When contacted, Kayuni also confirmed the development, but asked for more time before commenting further.
Before his confirmation, a number of things suffered as decisions made by Kayuni were not legally binding. For some court cases to be prosecuted or referred to higher courts, they need the DPP’s authority.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau was one of the institutions whose operations were affected by the absence of the DPP as it cannot prosecute cases under Corrupt Practices Act (CPA), among others, without consent from the DPP.
Recently, the courts threw out charges under CPA against former minister of Lands SimonVuwa Kaunda, former Secretary to President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara, former deputy minister of Transport Charles Mchacha and Ministry of Defence Principal Secretary Bright Kumwembe because ACB did not have consent from DPP.
The case could also not be referred to the High Court for trial because there was no DPP to issue a certificate for summary procedure.
Kayuni has risen through the ranks in the Ministry of Justice and holds a doctorate from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom obtained in 2016 whose research focused on international criminal justice, among others. He also holds a Master of Laws (LLM) International Criminal Law (2009-2010) from the same university and a bachelor of laws from the University of Malawi obtained in 2005.
In his role as principal chief State advocate, Kayuni represented the State in most recent criminal cases.
He has succeeded Mary Kachale, who served as DPP for six years before being moved to the Office of the President and Cabinet as Principal Secretary.