Lusaka Lawyer Eddie Mwitwa
Lusaka Lawyer Eddie Mwitwa

The President of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) struggled and failed to clearly explain to the Constitutional Court whether by inviting institutions and persons to make submissions, the National Assembly attempted to involve the people in the legislative process.

In a matter in which LAZ has challenged the enactment of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill 10, Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa asked LAZ to read paragraph 8 of their Witness statement in which he stated:

“[8] I note that the Third Respondent in an effort to involve the public in the legislative process in line with the provisions of Article 89(1) of the Constitution wrote to the Petitioner and many other institutions and persons inviting them to submit memoranda on the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 (hereinafter referred to as the “Bill”)

When asked whether he agreed the National Assembly made efforts to engage everyone in the legislative process, including LAZ, Mr Mwitwa said the institutions and persons are not the people.

This prompted the Solicitor General to ask him to read the definition of persons in the Constitution and the question was repeated to him whether Parliament made efforts to engage the people including LAZ, to which he said he doesn’t know.

Another lawyer from the Attorney General, Francis Mwale asked the LAZ President to whether there was a standard procedure of amending the Constitution to which Mr Mwitwa responded by referring to the Technical Committee process preceding the 2016 amendments as the standard.

Mr. Mwitwa belaboured to explain processes which included consultative forums and conferences.

The Principal State Advocate Mwale asked him to explain which law provided for that process, Mr Mwitwa said there was none.

Mr Mwitwa also told the Court that when Parliament invited them to make submissions to the Parliamentary Committee scrutinising the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill, Parliament did not invite them to a legislative process but a consultative process.

When shown Article 89(1) of the Constitution on the provision for Parliament to engage in a legislative process, Mr Mwitwa maintained that the process to scrutinise the Bill by a Parliamentary Committee is not a legislative process but consultative one.

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29 COMMENTS

    • At this point Mwitwa sounds excessively dull.
      Interesting stuff.
      Give LAZ enough rope to hang themselves.
      At this stage lazy crazy LAZ kuwayawayafye.

      It is now beyond reasonable doubt that Mwitwa should hang his gloves.

      Let’s roll folks.

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    • This is the form & character of the opposition in Zambia, just making noises with no facts & no grounds. There, the court has give this ka hh crony the audience. Hh lawyer is in the forefront in this court. Kwisa! No facts, no grounds. Just wasting time. The court will throw this out then we will hear that they were bribed. And yet fikopofye abena hh & his entire team

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    • This cliquè of lawyers is not inspiring. LAZ went into this petition unprepared. Fact. I dont see a matter that needs legal redress here. This required a political solution. Those lawyers at attorney general ve perfected the art and getting cream dela cream lawyers

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    • Anyone with doubts should now know why foreign entities like Vedanta hires Zambian lawyers out of no choice like in matter of KCM. Our lawyers do not understand simple rules and laws, how can they understand bigger things like Constitution? Laz performance reflects what lawyers in private sector have become. They can fake up any case, even the most useless case so long there is money involved.

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    • Do u know how a police officer behaves when his friend has committed a serious offense and he wants to run away from helping him? That is what has happened between LAZ President and the opposing lawyers. No matter how friendly they wanted to be to their President, they had duty to do. Grill the man and make him look amateur. Thats why they say learned friends.

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    • Ok guys, can the Judges support a process that is illegal? The Judiciary made submissions to Parliament. They made submissions before NDF and during. So only tu LAZ etwachenjela? Etuishibe to defend constitution? Think again laz. No one except u and upnd (and its small parties and NGOs) is against bill

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  1. Too much drama ba LAZ. This time u have lost it, u shouldn’t even taken witness to give evidence. This petition only requires arguments on point of law. Chapwa. Exposing the entire legal profession to disrepute. By the way, who is even paying fees for this petition? LAZ needs an urgent meeting to save its face and usher in new leadership

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  2. Common sense here. LAZ wants court to help them win a case on sympathy. This matter should not have been in court in first place!

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  3. If I was Mwitwa, would ve said there was a misunderstanding, so we withdrawing this case. These chaps shud ve collected all evidence they needed before filing but dirty money from politicians blinded their objectivity.

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  4. Colleagues, there is a ghost in the dock. We need to modernise the docks in the courts, one for hard core criminals and other for decent people like Mwitwa. Only then will decent people begin to answer questions truthfully and honestly.

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  5. Keep it up LAZ.
    Expose the Con Court for being a puppet of the executive.
    Grounds for its disbandment after 2021 will be overwhelming.

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    • Ubukopo lishamo!! ConCourt was created by the Constitution, LAZ is an act of Parliament, how can LAZ easily “disband” an institution enshrined in our supreme law?? Mulefweba bwino ibange, yama…

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  6. Jungle Law!
    It’s either you eat or you are eaten.
    Imperfect Laws made by man are the basis for winning or losing a case. Wisdom is secondary!
    LAZ should not have taken this matter to court!
    LAZ was not only unprepared at Law.
    While LAZ was right that this was more of a consultative process than a people driven process, they failed to make sense out of the lacunas in our statutes. They failed to refer to past work by the Constitutional Review Commissions. Zambian statutes have been messed up over the years as each GRZ wants to tamper with the law to suit its selfish wishes. In the end, the Law ceases to be sacred!
    The political tide is surely against LAZ here from the Linda Kasonde era and LAZ should have gone prepared! Sad for our now Ox- driven Constitution!

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    • LAZ is just one body in Africa with leadership challenges. This isn’t about the law nor court, this is about LAZ not appreciating the law and procedure for amending Constitution.

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  7. From Mwitwa’s performance on the witness stand, one can deduce that LAZ does not believe in this court action, that they have been drawn into it willy-nilly. Hope people are taking note that the Attorney General’s chambers are asking the same questions that we have been asking here;

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  8. Very embarrassing. Only way LAZ will win case is when Court, especially that academician judge, assist them with dissenting academic opinions

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  9. LAZ is just one body in Africa with leadership challenges. This isn’t about the law nor court, this is about LAZ not appreciating the law and procedure for amending Constitution.

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  10. Lawyers need retraining time and again. We need to make a culture of sending them back to ZIALE so they could catch up with new developments on the law. Its clear LAZ and its President are lost or merely playing politics

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