Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba’s attempt to intimidate the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has hit a brick wall.
Kabimba summoned the LAZ executive committee to office to try intimidate the lawyers over their calls for acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to step down and the need for a proper constitution to be put in place.
Kabimba, who paid journalists to be at his office as well, got the shock of his life when LAZ president told him to his face that lawyers will always speak out on matters that affect the country.
Kabimba started by telling lawyers that he would not support a constitution that was tinted with a foreign image.
Kabimba said he was concerned with statements made by LAZ that government was reluctant to come up with a people’s driven constitution.
Kabimba, who is also Patriotic Front (PF) General Secretary, said LAZ needed to understand its mandate and boundary when it comes to governance issues. He said there should be a distinction between LAZ and government.
Kabimba said there were some innuendos in the statements that LAZ made regarding the constitution making process and has urged them to be realistic in providing checks and balances.
But LAZ President James Banda told Kabimba that LAZ will continue providing quality checks and balances on government.
Banda told Kabimba that he is not afraid to state that there is a big problem in the judiciary which needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
He told the Justice Minister that the issue of Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda cannot go without a comment. LAZ has openly said that Chibesakunda is in office illegally.
Banda asked Kabimba to instead address the problems that are surrounding the country’s judiciary.
He added that there was a need to constantly dialogue with government on issues that are affecting the judiciary.
Banda said government should not feel intimidated when LAZ comments on the constitution making process because the association wants to have a clear map on the constitution making process.