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High court quashes contempt proceedings against prosecutors


The Mansa High Court has reviewed and reversed the decision of the Mansa Subordinate Court to charge and convict 2 prosecutors of contempt of Court. 3 prosecutors namely Robert Mwondela, Justin Mwanang’ombe and Venatio Phiri, all based at the Luapula Provincial Prosecutions Office at Mansa were charged with contempt in the face of the Court on 8th July 2022 by Honorable Muyunda.

In the morning of 8th July 2022, the 3 prosecutors were waiting outside the courtroom for the Magistrate to conclude with her civil matters in order for them to proceed with their prosecution business of the day. Unknown to them the Magistrate concluded the civil cases and begun calling the criminal cases without notifying the prosecutors of the switch in proceedings. The prosecutors noticed this from outside the courtroom and when they rushed in, they were charged with contempt contrary to Section 116 (i) (c) (iii) of the Penal Code by Magistrate Muyunda. The Court acquitted Mr Mwondela and convicted the remaining 2 prosecutors, sentencing them to a fine of K180 or 2 weeks imprisonment. The prosecutors appealed.

On 23rd January, 2023 the Mansa High Court reviewed the decision, vacated the conviction and acquitted the public prosecutors.

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The National Prosecution Authority is a statutory body established by the National Prosecution Authority act No. 34 of 2010 with a mandate of instituting criminal proceedings on behalf of the state.

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