LAZ on trial again

Sun, 18 Dec 2016 10:04:00 +0000

THE manner in which the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has come out on a number of issues of public interest is worrisome.

To say the least, on more than one occasion the position taken by LAZ has been disappointing.

As a law body, LAZ is expected to be apolitical in its discharge of duties. It must be seen to offer unbiased and untainted professional legal guidance to the nation.

However, the Association has in the recent past clearly taken a partisan stance by siding with the opposition political party against the governing Patriotic Front.

As such, the pronouncement by the PF secretary general that LAZ shall be treated as a political organisation is exonerated.

It has been observed with dismay that each time the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has come into conflict with the law, LAZ has either remained mute or issued sugar-coated statements meant to defend the atrocious acts of their allies.

LAZ should not think that Zambians are fools that they cannot see through their political schemes.

A few months ago, the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is on record to have disgraced the Court Judges by branding them as a bunch of criminals not worth the gown they wear after his presidential petition flopped in the Constitutional Court, but LAZ chose to be mute.

Does LAZ agree with the UPND that Judges are criminals? Was this not a direct assault on the judiciary and the Judges?

Shockingly, when the presidential special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda expressed concern at the manner in which some High Court Judges handled the parliamentary petitions, he was chastised by LAZ.

LAZ found it convenient to impute Mr Chanda’s sentiments as threats on the judiciary but not Mr Hichilema’s derogatory remarks on the Court Judges.

Reading the statement LAZ issued on the riotous behaviour exhibited by the UPND cadres at the Supreme and High Court grounds on Thursday afternoon is not only painful but also clearly shows that something has gone wrong at the institution.

Subjecting the statement to scrutiny reveals a number of inconsistencies.

“The Law Association of Zambia strongly condemns the riotous behaviour that was exhibited by the UPND cadres… whether due to provocation or not.

“LAZ has also information to the effect that the UPND cadres were provoked and police used live ammunition on the cadres. LAZ is still making inquiries regarding this information…”

On one hand, LAZ is seemingly condemning the uncouth conduct of the cadres regardless of whether due to provocation or not.

On the other hand, LAZ is defending the UPND by apportioning blame on the police suggesting that they provoked the cadres.

According to LAZ, they have information that police used live ammunition on the cadres but that they (LAZ) are still investigating the matter.

How can LAZ audaciously state that police used live ammunition on the cadres prior to concluding on their inquiry on the matter? Why is LAZ defending UPND cadres and not the judiciary and its staff?

If indeed police used live ammunitions on the cadres, the results could have been catastrophic, disastrous and lethal. We challenge LAZ to adduce evidence to the effect that police used live ammunition.

One does not need to be a lawyer to note that LAZ’s statement is contradictory. This is the consequential result of deciding to analyse issues from a political stand point of view.

Professional objectivity is lost because of being entangled politically. Unfortunately, this is the position LAZ finds itself in.

Even if LAZ is challenging the UPND leadership to condemn the violent conduct of the cadres on the court premises, anyone can easily guess what the response will be: UPND will simply allege provocation by the police because LAZ has set the fertile ground already.

We urge LAZ to be objective and not subjective when dealing with issues of public interest and offering guidance to the nation. Only then will the law body remain relevant and true to its mandate.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button