Crime & Investigation

DPP Wants Urgent Witness Protection Law

The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mike Chibita has called on government to urgently table before Parliament the Witness protection Bill which will protect the rights of witnesses during court hearings.

While appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, see Chibita said witnesses labour to give evidence in Court and in many cases put their lives in danger when there is no direct legal frame work to protect them.

“The witnesses are important in prosecution and even in the entire court system. They help the process and at times even put lives in danger but there is nothing in place to care of them, ” said Chibita.

He stressed that witnesses also need to be helped financially in the course of doing their work but without the law in place they survive on good will.

“Witnesses don’t reside at court. They don’t eat at court neither take water from there. A formal arrangement should also be in place to take care of them financially, ” he stressed.

Chibita further noted that nobody is a professional witness and such people are just doing a civic duty which necessitates a law that will cater for their interests.

Different Ministries, Departments and Agencies are presenting their policy statements before the respective committees at Parliament as the country gets close to June when the final budget will be read.

The Directorate of Public Prosecution is under the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

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