The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has issued a statement emphasizing the importance of non-interference by government institutions in the internal affairs of political parties. The call comes amid recent developments surrounding the opposition Patriotic Front (PF), prompting discussions on the boundaries between government functions and political party matters.
LAZ President Lungisani Zulu, commenting on the situation, asserted that government institutions should refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of political parties. Zulu particularly addressed the ongoing discussions about the authenticity of a purported list of PF office bearers, urging that such matters should be adjudicated by the courts to ensure a fair and lawful resolution.
During a press briefing, Mr. Zulu stressed the importance of the government embracing diverse viewpoints and understanding the perspectives of stakeholders on national matters. He highlighted the significance of the rule of law in such situations and recommended legal avenues for settling disputes related to political party affairs.
However, Chief Government Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa, who is also the Information and Media Minister, offered a counterpoint. Mweetwa argued that government institutions engaged in dealing with political parties as part of their duties should not be perceived as meddling in opposition affairs. He emphasized that service provision is distinct from interference and that institutions should be allowed to carry out their mandated functions.
Mweetwa responded to LAZ’s concerns about an increased number of arrests of opposition party members, acknowledging that the Association rightfully understands the importance of upholding the rule of law. He clarified that the law is impartial and applies to anyone, regardless of their political affiliation, stressing that violations will be addressed in accordance with legal principles.