LAZ exposed

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 09:53:22 +0000


…Makebi Zulu says defending individual lawyers not in public interest


THE decision by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) to defend Nchima Nchito facing criminal prosecution is not in public interest, says Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu.

He said LAZ was creating a fertile ground for speculation because the association’s honorary secretary Sashi Nchito Kateka was the biological sister of the Nchito brothers.

Sashi was also representing Fred M’membe’s wife Mutinta Buumba Mazoka in the case where she was charged for obstructing police officers on duty.

Mr. Zulu added that LAZ vice president Eddie Mwitwa was a partner in the law firm run by former Solicitor General Musa Mwenye who has been appointed by LAZ to represent Nchima Nchito in his impersonation case.

“Should the money we contribute to LAZ go towards representing an individual?” he asked.

Mr. Zulu, said though LAZ had a legal obligation to participate in matters of public interest, the association’s stance to publicly defend individual members was not in public interest.

“Provisions of the Law Association of Zambia Act or the Legal Practitioners Act allow LAZ to take part in matters of public interest and not necessarily an individual’s interest.

“Objectively speaking, there is no public interest in this matter,”

Mr. Zulu said LAZ had failed to intervene in the prosecution of other lawyers like the late Edward Shamwana, Sebastian Size Zulu  former Commissioner of Lands Frightone Sichone, Lewis Mosho and Keith Mweemba who was still appearing in court after then Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito authorized his prosecution.

He said LAZ’s decision to appoint lawyers to specifically represent lawyer Nchima Nchito, in his impersonation case, did not reflect well on the association’s reputation as an organisation intended to protect public interest.

Mr. Zulu said LAZ was expected to protect public interest and its move to defend individual interests was not in order.

He said LAZ was expected to take an objective stance and not a subjective one on issues of public interest.

“It is not in public interest that they took that position and it is simply serving an individual’s interest,” Mr. Zulu said.

Meanwhile, New Revolution Party (NRP) president Cozmo Mumba has challenged the current LAZ executive to resign for bringing the association’s name into disrepute.

In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Dr. Mumba said the current LAZ executive had allegedly brought shame on the once revered grouping of legal practitioners.

He said majority Zambians had lost confidence in LAZ because of the manner in which the current executive was conducting business especially on matters of public interest.

“Many Zambians have lost confidence and trust in the Law Association of Zambia and it is a pity that we have no powers to pass a vote of no confidence in the current LAZ executive led by Madam Linda. She should resign on moral grounds because she is (allegedly) misguiding and misleading the Zambian people.

“This is a clear indication that Madam Linda Kasonde has openly declared support for named opposition political parties. She is the first female LAZ president and it has been difficult for her to take care of the association, which is the only body regulating lawyers,” Dr. Mumba said.

He charged that the current LAZ executive had allegedly lost the association’s foresight and objectives, adding that the association’s leadership was bent on portraying the alleged dark side of President Lungu’s government.

He said it was unfortunate that LAZ leaders were fighting President Lungu, their fellow lawyer.

“The Law Association of Zambia was formed out of an Act of Parliament and therefore, I call upon members of Parliament to debate the existence of the Law Association of Zambia whose conduct now amounts to anarchy and civil strife,” he said.


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