The lawyer representing the family of slain ‘struggle kid’ Frieda Ndatipo says the report on her death should not have been sent to the attorney general, as this could have compromised the credibility of the investigation.
Ombudsman John Walters, upon completion of the investigation into the death of Ndatipo, sent the report to Dr Albert Kawana, the then attorney general.
But lawyer Titus Ipumbu believes the report should have been sent directly to the prosecutor general from the ombudsman, instead of first sending it to the attorney general, who is a political appointee.
The report only reached the prosecutor general Martha Imalwa after it had already been to the attorney general’s office, New Era was informed.
Ipumbu said on Sunday that the report should have gone from Walters to Imalwa.
Ipumbu felt that Kawana, as a politician, should have recused himself from looking at the report, because as a political appointee he might have vested interest in the matter. He explained that while all three are constitutional appointees, Kawana is a politician.
On Thursday Kawana, now Minister of Justice, announced in parliament that Imalwa did not see the need to prosecute anyone in the matter. He added that a judge would conduct a public inquest.
“A report was submitted to me and to the prosecutor general in December last year. The prosecutor general was requested to decide whether or not to prosecute on the available evidence. After extensively studying the report, the prosecutor general declined to prosecute on the available evidence,” stated Kawana.
Ipumbu further added that Walters would not have submitted the report to Kawana if there were not sufficient evidence to prosecute.
The lawyer said that the inquest may create a legal dilemma for the PG, if the results of the inquest indicate that that there is enough evidence to prosecute the culprits. “Will the PG stick to her decision not to prosecute, or follow the findings of the inquest?” Ipumbu asked rhetorically.
“We must have faith and trust in our institutions, but we must also put pressure on them and justice must be delivered,” Ipumbu said.
The lawyer said that he had not yet received a copy of the PG’s decision.
“We are back at square one,” he said. He added that about 15 witnesses have to be interviewed and, as a result, the inquest may take one to three months. “The judge that will be appointed has work in his her chambers,” he added.
“Justice is delayed, I am not saying it’s not being done, it’s done but it’s delayed,” he said.
Ndatipo was shot dead during a confrontation between a group of young people born in exile and the police in August last year.