Delays by Director of Public Prosecution to issue instructions for those facing criminal offences to be committed to trial and the lack of state advocates in Livingstone have been cited as the causes for delays in concluding serious court cases in Livingstone.
This came to light on Wednesday when the Livingstone-based magistrate Edsen Shanduba queried the continued delay by the state to arraign Harry Henry Lungu, an accused in the murder of a ruling Patriotic Front cadre Harrison Chanda during the Livingstone by-election.
The magistrate further wondered why there were no state advocates stationed in Livingstone to attend to the many cases especially those of capital nature scheduled to be committed to the High Court.
The magistrate said the situation had contributed to a number of cases taking long due non-availability of state advocates to handle the cases.
But in response to Magistrate Shanduba’s query, a senior prosecutor Chenda told the court that Lungu’s case had already received instructions from the DPP’s office.
Chenda, however, was quick to mention that the only challenge they were facing is that there were no state advocates stationed in Livingstone currently to attend to such cases.
He told the court that the matter was being addressed.
The matter of Lungu has since been adjourned to an unknown date following the accused’s application before the court that he was not comfortable with the date which the state suggested that he should appear for a mention.
Lungu told the court that he had security concerns that was the reason why he wanted to appear before November 4, 2014 or after the same date.
Lungu is alleged to have murdered a PF cadre during the bloody Livingstone by-election earlier this year and has pleaded not guilty to the charge.