By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has cautioned the incoming Government to be very quick to listen to the people but slow to act only after ensuring the action was lawful. LAZ said the association would hold the new administration to the pledge of upholding the rule of law.
LAZ President Abyudi Shonga said in an exclusive interview that President-elect Hakainde Hichilema and his Government should not stray from the rule of law. Mr Shonga said that LAZ was encouraged by the President-elect’s emphasis that the rule of law was important to him.
“We think that they should be very quick to listen and they should be slow to act and should act only after they have taken into account what the law is asking them to do. In short, we expect strict adherence to the rule of law as they make decisions,” he said. Some civil societies have been calling for Parliament to remove President Edgar Lungu’s immunity.
Meanwhile, Mr Shonga said that the incoming Government should revisit some components of the Bill of Rights and that some parts of Bill 10 were progressive. “There are some concerns around certain lacunas that exist in the current constitution.
An attempt to amend the constitution through Bill 10 was made, but that failed, largely because the players failed to achieve consensus, that is why that process failed. “It is the hope of LAZ that this new Government will take a different approach and not leave anyone behind as they go about attending to various gaps that may exist in the laws.
“In 2016, there was a referendum to try to make changes to the Bill of Rights. We would like this process to be reignited because there were some good provisions to enhance the Bill of Rights that failed alongside the referendum,” he said.
Mr Shonga said the August 12 general elections were legitimate and called on the Presidential inauguration committee to ensure there was a peaceful and orderly transition. He explained that the Presidential inauguration committee comprising the Secretary to the Cabinet, his deputy, Attorney General , Service Chiefs and Permanent Secretaries from select ministries has powers to ensure that law and order is maintained until the President-elect takes over control of Government.
Mr Shonga said that the job of the said committee was provided for under Section 6 of the transitional period and Inauguration of President Act Number 32 of 2016.