LAZ is a political party

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 06:05:14 +0000


Oasis defense of LAZ misplaced


It is intellectually dishonest, morally indefensible and an act of desperation for the compromised Oasis forum to be used by the Law Association of Zambia executive to issue emotional and frivolous statements questioning the credibility and motivation of its critics without offering justification for divisive and irregular decision it took legal practitioners have charged.

This follows the release of a scathing press statement by the Oasis Forum condemning lawyers and individuals criticizing LAZ for becoming a family law firm indulging in partisan politics, including the support of the Post Newspaper in liquidation which has been cited for massive tax evasion.

Among others Legal practitioners Tutwa Ngulube and Hobday Kabwe have questioned why the Oasis Forum chairperson Father Cleophas Lungu issued the statement defending LAZ when the issues were clearly subjudice as they were before the courts of law.

“These matters are still in court. LAZ has not responded to the questions we have raised in court. I am appalled that Fr. Lungu should be using words he does not understand just for the sake of using them. The things that are sacrosanct are those that are in the Constitution and for those of us who are exercising our freedom of expression, we are from the sacrosanct position that is backed by the Constitution. How does he come in with issues which LAZ ought to answer for themselves?” Mr. Kabwe said. He said Mr. Sampa’s drafting of the Private Member’s Bill was in order and MPs must be allowed to decide on issues that were squarely within their powers.

Mr. Kabwe said just like LAZ had a right to criticize Government, others equally had a right to question some of the association’s decisions and actions.

He said even PF cadres, who demonstrated at LAZ secretariat against Ms. Kasonde, had a right to differ with anybody as long as there was no injury to persons or damage to property.

Instead of disparaging critics, the association must answer why it diverted from the mandate to engage in political and partisan discourse contrary to the statute under which the association was established.

The statement issued on behalf of conveners Rev Suzanne Matale General Secretary of Christian Council of Zambia, Linda Kasonde, President Law Association of Zambia, Sarah Longwe- Board Chairperson of NGOCC stating that the organization was not surprised with “Misguided and politically motivated agitation against prophetic voices such as LAZ and some private media houses.”

The statement went further to express concern by the draft private members bill ‘…by a PF Member of Parliament, which is clearly bent on replacing the current piece of legislation upon which the establishment of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is anchored.”

But lawmaker Tutwa Ngulube said it was most unfortunate, unbecoming and in bad faith for the Forum to cast aspersions on the “frame of mind” of those who criticized LAZ. The association (LAZ), he said, was a creature of statute with a mandate to serve professional interest and not veer as it had done to indulge in political and partisan criminal matters.

“It is political and outside the legal mandate for LAZ to join in the Presidential debate and it is partisan for the association to pay fees and seek to join the Post newspaper liquidation case. This is not the mandate of the Association as envisaged by the statute that created it, “ he said.

It was wrong, he said, for LAZ to conduct itself as a non-governmental organization (NGO) because it was created by law and must conduct its affairs accordingly. “That is why we want other fraternal organizations to ensure that LAZ  remains as a statutory body which should not indulge in divisive matters, but deal with the legally established mandate of serving the professional interests of the legal fraternity.”



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