The Law Association of Zambia has cleared lawyers Lubinda Linyama and Joseph Jalasi of Messrs Eric Silwamba and Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners of professional misconduct for issuing a statement to the Daily Nation to the effect that former Petauke Member of Parliament was free to recontest her seat.
In a letter dated August 26, 2013 addressed to Mulenga Fube, the LAZ Legal Practitioners Committee said that the two advocates complained against had sought permission from the association’s council before issuing the statement to the Daily Nation.
A Lusaka resident, Mulenga Fube had complained to LAZ against Linyama and Jalasi that the two lawyers had issued a statement to the Daily Nation on a matter which was before the courts of law.
But LAZ honorary secretary Silas Mambwe in his letter to Fube said: “Please be informed that it has been brought to the attention of the LAZ legal practitioners committee that the two advocates complained against had sought permission from the LAZ council before issuing the statement which appeared in the Daily Nation Newspaper on Friday August 9, 2013.”
LAZ has since advised Fube that the legal practitioners committee would therefore not proceed with attending to his complaint.
The Electoral Act number 12 of 2006 section 129 (5) provides that, “no prosecution for an offence against this Act shall be commenced after the lapse of one year from the date on which the offence is alleged to have been committed.”
Lawyers representing Siliya, Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners told the Daily Nation that the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006 was clear on the matter and it was therefore unattainable to legally prosecute the matter.
“We observe that there have been several legal opinions coming from a cross section of society videlicet, civil society organisations, political parties and members of the legal profession. There is an insinuation that our client will be prosecuted for the purported offences.
However, if the concerned parties had read the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006 in its entirety they would have reached the inescapable conclusion that Siliya cannot be prosecuted at all,” said Lubinda Linyama.
Linyama said that there was a clear statutory limitation placed on any prosecution to be instituted pursuant to the provisions of the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006.
He said that it was common cause that the allegations contained in the election petition were made by Leonard Banda and originated from the activities of the campaigns in the period July-September 2011.