By JOHN SAKALA
The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has opened up to the public asking the public to use it during prosecution of criminal offences.
Below is the full statement
NPA an Institution in charge of prosecuting people accused of criminal offences has called on the media and the nation at large to utilise the available information on the operation and the significance of its existence.
The NPA has observed that lack of information has created misinterpretation of the Institution and its credibility to enhance good governance through the provision of an efficient, effective and fair justice system.
The Institution which was created by Act No.34 of 2010, as an independent body headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who is appointed by the Republican President after ratification by Parliament.
The organisation professionally provides an effective and efficient prosecution service to the public in an accountable and transparent manner that upholds the rule of law, justice and human rights.
It has implored the media to help raise awareness on the operations of the Institution so as to create an appropriate forum for the Institution to interact with interested persons without speculations.
The NPA has Specialised Units set up to efficiently and effectively carry out its functions such as the Taxation and Financial Crimes Unit (TFCU), the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) the Gender Based Crimes Unit (GBCU) and Appeals and General Unit.
And since its establishment, it has continued meeting the needs of victims of crime and witnesses in order to enhance public confidence in the criminal justice system.
It has also been at hand to ensure that prosecutions are conducted in a fair and consistence manner.
It is the function of the NPA to appoint State Advocates and Prosecutors as well as to process all dockets, prefer charges and also prosecute criminal cases and appeals in the courts of law.
The NPA has offices in all provincial headquarters of the country and it aims to descentralise to all districts so that criminal justice is easily accessible by all the citizenry.
Meanwhile, the DPP has authority over all criminal proceedings whether instituted by the State or private persons except in the case of court martial. This authority entitles the Office to take over, continue or discontinue any criminal proceedings that have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or authority.
The Constitution of Zambia also allows the DPP to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered, such criminal proceedings as may have been instituted or undertaken by himself or any person or authority. This power does not extend to matters that are on appeal.
NPA Media Team