Sunday, September 20, 2020

Judge berates DPP for inefficiency

On Monday Justice Moses Chinhengo of the Francistown High Court pleaded with the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to try and play an active role in mobilizing cases, saying some of the state prosecutors are failing to do their job effectively.

He said this during a case in which two murder suspects were supposed to be brought before Francistown High court for trial and the DPP Senior State Counsel of Palapye, Gape Mantswe, failed to account for the whereabouts of the accused or elaborate if they were any efforts made by the state to locate the suspects.

Mantswe told court that both suspects were on bail but failed to produce any bail reports for the conditions of the bail given to the accused.

“As the DPP, I do not believe that if you were doing your job properly you would come to court and fail to produce any bail order for the suspects, if requested to do so,” said Justice Chinhengo.

The Judge stated that it was a matter of inefficiency in the DPP and further said that some state prosecutors sit and do nothing about the suspects until the day of hearing and that delays the hearing of the cases.

The judge pointed out that, in that regard, there was no point of the prosecutors to come to court if they do not have any bail reports and were failing to account for the efforts done to locate the accused people. He added that he did not have any problems with issuing the warrant of arrest for the accused but stressed that the prosecution was not doing their job.
“You do not even care or advice the police on the bail conditions of the suspects,” the Judge said.

He added that there was no point in the prosecution stating that the accused absconded if they do not even care or avail to court what is entailed in those bail conditions. He told Mantswe that the court would not do anything in that regard as it was the duty of the DPP to make sure the suspects are brought to court.

Chinhengo went further to state that the court would not believe that the person is on bail if the prosecution failed to produce any bail order.

“Sometimes the accused can simply forget that he is supposed to appear in court and it is the duty of the prosecution to make sure that the accused is informed through them working in collaboration with the police and the prison department,” Chinhengo added.

Chinhengo ordered the Senior State Prosecutor to investigate the circumstances surrounding the two suspects who are currently at large and urged the officials to do their job well and, with the police, to summon the suspects to court. He indicated that the prosecutor has unduly wasted time in court as there was an indication of lack of professionalism.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.