The Economic and Financial Crimes Court (EFCC) has dismissed preliminary issues raised by Chawama lawmaker Tasila Lungu in a case the State wants to have her farm in Sinda forfeited for being tainted.

The fast-track court has set April 19 as the date for judgment on whether or not the farm, worth about K13.9 million, should be forfeited to the State.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Gilbert Phiri filed a non-conviction-based motion to have the farm forfeited to the State on grounds that it was acquired using proceeds of crime.

However, Ms Lungu, daughter of former President Edgar Lungu, said she acquired the farm at K300,000 and that she was being maliciously investigated.

As an intended interested party, Ms Lungu later raised preliminary issues being: whether the DPP has the legal capacity to sue and be sued; whether public prosecutors can represent the DPP who is legally non-existent; whether the lawsuit was properly before the EFCC; and whether the originating notice of motion clearly states the relief sought and if the same motion conformed with Order 8 Rule 3 of the White Book.

In its ruling, the EFCC stated that it found that the notice of motion was properly commenced by the DPP.

“It is our considered view that the counsel for the intended interested party (Ms Lungu) misdirected himself by trying to divorce the function of the DPP from the National Prosecutions Authority,” the ruling reads.

“Though the two cannot be divorced, the functions of the latter are performed by the former and cannot be discussed in isolation.
“In light of what we have said, we find no merit in the first preliminary issue and the same fails.”

The panel of three judges also threw out the second preliminary ground since the court had earlier found that the DPP is a creature of the Constitution who can sue and be sued.

(Zambia Daily Mail)