There are no camps in the Law Association of Zambia which is a credible legal entity, says its president George Chisanga.
Clarifying assertions suggesting that LAZ was divided, Mr. Chisanga said that there was only one camp where all lawyers belonged to, an organization which he was president of.
Featuring on Millennium Radio on Thursday, Mr. Chisanga said that his association was a credible legal entity which was highly regulated and suggestions that his election as president was marred with fraud and intimidation were incorrect.
He said that the general membership resolved to have a continuity, hence his ascendance to power of LAZ
“We had a programme which we wanted to implement and it was a general feeling of our members that the Vice president should ascend to the position of president so that there is continuity. Really the elections in the association in the period I have been with LAZ are determined by the agenda on the table and if the membership believe that the team which is running the affairs of the association has been operating effectively, they will generally allow you to continue operating. But when the agenda has changed that is why you can see that LAZ members decide to change the leaders,” he explained.
On whether the rules were changed to bar new members from contesting the top position, Mr. Chisanga said that it was not correct for people to suggest that LAZ formulated laws or regulations to bar other people from contesting when the regulations were clear on the matter.
He also said that there were no camps in the association as suggested by the public, adding that being high regulated association, its credibility should always be seen to manifest in the eyes of the people as it was a major stakeholder on legal matters.
“There are no camps in LAZ, there is only one camp. And LAZ knows how it regulates its affairs; it is a very highly regulated professional body.
We did not actually change the rules as people have alleged. Members of the public my wish to know that our elections rules are regulated, and that is what regulate the elections of LAZ,
“What happened was that an in house resolution was passed in order to regulate our elections. The requirement was that one must have a particular standing on the bar before you could ascend to certain position of the association. This is actually entrenched in our electoral rules contained in our resolutions of the association.
He said the regulations did not only qualify few people but also to instill responsibility on matters which calls for constitutional office bearers’ debate.
“For other positions in the council of the LAZ you should have be on the bar for at least five years, there is justification for that. LAZ is called upon to deliberate on governance of the country such as the appointment of the judges and other high government office, will require a lawyer with a standing, a comfortable standing at the bar in order to deliberate.
“In all fairness you will not expect a lawyer who has been on the bar for two years to consider whether the particular applicant to the High Court or the Supreme Court is suitable for the appointment. So we came up with that requirement,” he said.