The High Court in Lilongwe has thrashed a fine of K30000 on the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for failing to submit the necessary documentation to the defence in the case in which Sibongile Chimphango is charged with Money laundering of K83 million from government.
Delivering her order on Wednesday, judge Ivy Kamanga said there was lack of seriousness on the part of the DDP’s office considering that summons for hearing the case was submitted on January 17 this year.
This was after the DPP, represented by Kamudoni Nyasulu, who has been appointed as public prosecutor specifically to prosecute cash gate cases, asked with “embarrassment” to adjourn the hearing because they had failed to serve the relevant documents on the defence Lawyers on time .
Nyasulu also asked the court that the accused, Chimphango, should take a plea again because fresh charges were filed against her on February 4, yet she had already pleaded not guilty when she appeared in Court on November 26 2013.
Kamanga said the DPP’s office had wasted her time going through the file for the case when they were not ready for hearing using time limits set in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code.
“This is for wasting my time to go through a court file for a matter that is not ready for hearing . The hearing will not proceed at the DPP’s insistence. The DPP is penalized at K30000 to be paid on Friday”, Kamanga ordered.
She further ordered that the state should provide the defence with disclosures, witness statements and any other information by February 26 before adjourning the matter to March 19 2014.