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Monday, August 10, 2020

LAZ is compromised and reduced itself to an appendage of a legal department of a political party

Columns LAZ is compromised and reduced itself to an appendage of a legal...

By Antonio Mourinho Mwanza

Last week, The Constitutional Court dismissed a petition by the Law Association of Zambia -LAZ to have the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 withdrawn from Parliament.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the petition by LAZ lacked merit because they did not show how Justice Minister Given Lubinda breached constitutional procedure when presenting Bill 10 to Parliament.

The Constitutional Court said it can not intervene in the matter as the arguments by LAZ did not show how the mandatory formalities as prescribed in Article 79 of the constitution, were offended by Bill 10.

LAZ was seeking a declaration that the government’s decision to amend the Constitution in the manner set in Bill Number 10 of 2019 is illegal.

In case you didn’t know, LAZ is an architect of Bill 10, they were the key participants at the National Dialogue Forum-NDF which came up with Bill 10.

In fact LAZ even warned political parties and all the citizens not to shun the Constitution-making process initiated by the NDF.

The question is why has LAZ u-turned; why is LAZ, which is supposed to be the crime-de-la-cream on legal matters taking USELESS and FRIVOLOUS petitions to court; Why is Mr Eddie Mwitwa and SOME of his colleagues at LAZ wasting the court’s time challenging Parliament to stop debating Bill 10 when they fully know that no one, not even the Court can stop parliament from passing Bills and enacting Laws?

You don’t need to be a lawyer, you don’t need to know Civics, in fact you don’t have to study SHOSHO STUDIES for you to understand that it is the right and constitutional mandate of Parliament to make laws.

Parliament ni Nyumba ya Malamulo, it is Ing’anda Ya Mafunde. The primary objective of parliament is to make laws. This is what the Republican Constitution says in Article 62:

1. The legislative authority of the Republic is vested in and exercised by Parliament.

2. A person or body, other than Parliament, shall not have power to enact legislation.

And Article 63 of the Constitution seals the argument, it says:

Parliament shall enact legislation through Bills passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President.

And LAZ like everyone else knows that the Courts have ruled and ruled again on this matter; there is sufficient Case Law that has repeatedly stated that no one, not even the Courts can stop parliament from conducting its business. Examples of these rulings include the court judgments in the following cases:

  1. Nkumbula v Attorney General where the Court of Appeal had occasion to pronounce itself on the propriety of challenging proposed amendments to the Constitution.
  2. Hem Chandra Sengupta & Others v The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of West Bangal & Others in which some parties sought to restrain the Chief Minister from pursuing a resolution approving the union
    of two States as well as to restrain the Union of India from bringing or initiating any bill or legislation in parliament for purposes of uniting the two States
  3. Re: Nalumino Mundia where the High Court was moved to quash the decision of the Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee to suspend a Member of Parliament from the National Assembly.

In all these cases, It was held that the court did NOT have the power to interfere with the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Assembly in the conduct of its internal proceedings.

The Courts ruled that Parliament enjoys exclusive cognizance over its internal proceedings. Hence, the Courts cannot interfere with the internal affairs of Parliament which it enjoys or has the Constitutional mandate or authority to legislate.

Clearly, even my grandmother in the village knows that it is the duty of Parliament to pass Bills and enact Laws so why could LAZ, of all institutions, embark on a vexatious and futile exercise to petition the Court to stop parliament from debating Bill 10 when they fully know that such a demand is unattainable at law?

The answer is simple, LAZ is compromised and it has reduced itself as an appendage of a legal department of a known opposition political party.

LAZ must redeem itself and recommit to its core values of being a professional corporate body as established in Act Chapter 47 of the Laws of Zambia and stop being used as a door mat of an opposition political party. Zambians want LAZ to be the torch-bearer of justice and the rule of law and not to reduce itself to a vuvuzela of an opposition political party.

Lastly, let LAZ elect a new Executive since the mandate of the current one expired a long time back. LAZ should be an example to all of democracy and good corporate governance.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Anthonio Mwanza for running mate 2021!!!!!. I think Edgar Lungu should consider him for running mate as it would show he is committed to promoting the youth.

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  2. Mr Antonio Mwanza all this waffling is unnecessary becoz Bill 10 lapsed on June 4,2020 and we are waiting to see how Matibini will exhume the Bill 10 Corprse and restore it on the Order Paper in Parliament for debate and voting. Thats what people want to hear. Period .

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  3. This is not the LAZ that we used to know. It has been so polarised that it is like any other non governmental organisation with a bias to defend the interests of a certain opposition party.

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  4. Look who is talking, these are the chaps who should not be considered for any further jobs in the public and Private sectors as they have showed that they have no integrity and can do anything as long as they get paid.

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  5. when the Constitutional court rules against the State, PF says the court is compromised…… Sometimes PF must admit every court decision and challenge it with dignity if dissatisfied. LAZ has a mandate to test the public law in the Court of law….. Nothing sinister…….
    Antonio is a teacher and if he wants to practice law he must study law……..

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  6. Excellent well reasoned article unlike the hot sewage garbage we get from hanthony habwalya. This is what we like. Objective informed analysis rather than just lousy articles because hh paid you to say something negative about pf.

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  7. PF is throwing money at anything with a mouth and fingers to write and spew matuvi any how.
    Easterners with names also, ati Antonio Mourinho mwanza….kikiki.

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  8. LAZ is compromised, says the heading. Compromised by who? It’s a membership association that chooses its own path. Outsiders hv very little say on wht it does.

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  9. These people have to go they can not hold a sober debate without labelling others opposition…you think everyone who speaks belongs to the opposition. Do you honestly think the opposition or Hakienda feeds us?

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  10. We don’t think we know so for many opposition in Zambia. For those diasporans like the pillock above, we know you come from a certain region of Zambia and are ignorant about tribe

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  11. What makes these dandala heads to think that if an association does not agree with them they are compromised. That is the reason they have failed to govern, by the way total failure because they are always thinking of consipirances and negativity. Start working though the Zambian people are already decided

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  12. @ KZ
    You are just another wanker. Did you copyright your inbreed imbecility or it come with membership of panga family?

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  13. IOO – Don’t mind the UK based impostor some people can’t cut it in the UK or abroad and end up frustrated, bitter of their country men colleagues.

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  14. Antonio Mwanza should spare us from this useless amd irrelevant analysis. Why is Mwanza wasting time discussing a Bill which lapsed on June 4,2021?The PF Chief Whip Mr Mandubile conceded that Bill 10 having been deferred for 6 Months expired on June 4, 2020. A Bill can only be deferred once and for a period of 6 Months. Thereafter the Bill is “killed “. Since Bill 10 is dead and buried Mr Mwanza should suggest how the Speaker of Parliament should resurrect the Bill for debate and voting in Parliament.
    He should tell us which law or Standing Committee Rule will be using to extend the shelf life of a dead Bill? Thats what matters now.

  15. I prefer to use LAZ than stealing pictures from internet.
    But even if it addiction to theft sure, there is no way you can allow ka Chris Zimba to be posting pictures from some other countries and use in campaigns in Southern province.
    Even the PF secretariat is booooling their State house.
    Try Antonio Mwanza at State house.

  16. PF kuwayawaya fye. Economic indicators negative, inflation, exchange rate, price of fuel, reserves depleted, second worst performing currency in the world, Mopani is going due to bad policies, price of mealie meal record high, price of energy off the roof, no jobs as promised. This is surely a no contest. So manje it’s just sabailaling…

  17. LAZ’s behaviour is no different from UNZALARU whose executive is clearly UPND as evidenced by the statement made by one Kelvin Mambwe, the SG of the union, that if elections were to be called today only those who benefit from PF or *****s would vote for the PF. It was clear from Mambwe’s statements that he was inciting Zambians to vote against the PF and for UPND for which he is a known member. We would not even be surprised if Mambwe went to stand on UPND ticket in the Northwestern Province in next year’s elections in fulfillment of his wish to support the UPND.

  18. Economy on its knees, even blaming covid which came yesterday. Governance all about brutality, civil liberties curtailed. Not seen such since 1964

  19. Antonio has no provide proof that LAZ is compromised……. He is a politician who is seeking public relevance. Just like Kazier Zulu…….. he will come for legal assistance one day

  20. It is worrying that a professional Legal Institution called LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA is found to lose a case in the Courts of Law. Two remedies can be administered to revamp the integrity of LAZ in Southern Africa – and Zambia in particular.
    (1) All paid up members of LAZ must convene an urgent Meeting to consider the restructuring of LAZ Executive Officers. Those who aspire to take up top positions in LAZ must demonstrate proof of fine records of performance in executing cases Courts.
    (2) Unza and UNILUS which have established reputable Schools of Law. should review course curricula (syllabi) at 3rd and 4th-Year levels with the object of generating fine Lawyers.
    The current crop of LAZ Executive is shameful.

  21. This article lacks an understanding of the difference between constitution law and an Act of Parliament. It is the constitution (the highest law of the land) that gives the power to Parliament to enact laws which are to be within the confines of the constitution. Therefore, It is only fair that this law is not made by parliament but we the Zambians because we are the employers and we decide how we should be governed.
    We ZAMBIANS have to make the constitution law and not PF, UPND, MMD etc. Once we do so, we then hand it over to Zambia and it can then be used by parliament to enact laws that are to be within the confines of this highest law of the land. Unfortunately but true the process of making this law is as important as the contents if we are to have a document that will stand a test…

  22. Actually LAZ is an appendage of the zambian people. It is representing us and speaking on our behalf pro bono.

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