Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:13:52 +0000



THREE lawyers who have criticized the Law Association of Zambia for deciding to pay legal fees in a matter involving Nchima Nchito and Fred M’membe have been summoned for disciplinary action.

The three lawyers – Hobday Kabwe, Makebi Zulu and Anna Mwitwa-Mwewa have been summoned over recent statements to the Daily Nation criticizing the association for taking a partisan political stance on matters involving the cartel.

They have challenged the Association to justify support to Nchima Nchito and Fred M’membe when no such support was offered to other legal practitioners including Judges who were confronted with similar legal challenges.

They have charged that LAZ had been reduced to a family law practice that had eschewed its legal mandate by engaging in partisan political activities that brought controversy and disrepute to the organisation.

In an undated letter copied to Mr. Kabwe, Ms. Mwewa and Mr. Zulu yesterday by Sipelile Mwilwa-Nyirenda on behalf of LAZ honorary secretary Sashi Nchito-Kateka, sister to Nchima Nchito, the association’s Legal Practitioners Committee said it had noticed with great concern that the three members had expressed opinions publicly without obtaining prior permission of the LAZ council.

“The committee is hereby summoning you to appear before it on March 24, 2017, at 10:00 hours to hear you on your contravening of the provisions of Rule 17(5) and (6) of the Legal Practitioners’ Practice Rules 2002, which prohibits practitioners from issuing press statements or appearing on radio and television to discuss legal subjects without prior authority of the council or Legal Practitioners’ Committee,” read the letter in part.

The summoning coincided with the story carried by this newspaper in its yesterday’s edition stating that LAZ was likely to crumble soon following its own admission that it did not stop or prevent any member from forming or joining another association of lawyers.

LAZ made the admission on February 15, 2017, in its response to the petition filed by Lusaka lawyer Robson Malipenga against the Attorney General and the Association in pursuit of a parallel body to represent and regulate lawyers.

“Kindly avail to the committee your response within the next seven days from the date of receipt. Note that the committee may proceed to hear and determine this matter in the absence of your response,” read the letter in part.

On August 24, 2016, the association warned its members that acting contrary to the said rules constituted professional misconduct or conduct unbefitting a practitioner and such sanctions as were prescribed by law might be applied, including but not limited to, suspension of one’s practicing licence.

“It is mandatory that all legal practitioners must adhere to the Legal Practitioners Act and Rules promulgated thereunder.

“The Committee strongly urges all LAZ members to, forthwith, refrain from taking to the media to discuss any legal subject including discussions on matters that are currently before the courts of law,” the circular read.


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