Supporting a criminal

It is unconscionable and totally unacceptable for the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) to support a criminal.

It is even more reprehensible that such support is rendered to a criminal who has subjected many innocent people to ignominy through a relentless and calamitous campaign of calumny and slander that has led many to their early graves. It is the law of nature that those who transgress the law must receive their just rewards.

It is not as if the entire LAZ is not familiar with the vast range of criminality that has been associated with the new “victim of State oppression”.

Where was LAZ when a reign of terror was unleashed on the nation by individuals masquerading as champions of probity, morality and integrity and in that capacity harassed defenseless people who had no capacity to respond let alone defend themselves.

What is being exposed now is but a tip of the iceberg of nearly two decades long catalogue of criminality and abuse of State power impersonating a campaign against corruption. With time the nation will learn many more things including the manipulation of judiciary, abuse of profession for personal financial gain and a host of other malpractices. The nation will be shocked.

Being visited by the law in whatever form or shape is a process intended to determine the guilt or indeed innocence of the suspected criminal. To truncate the process by any means is a sign of guilt.

It is one thing to express personal solidarity to a colleague, but another to use a legally instituted public body to subvert the law in the name of promoting the rule of law.

LAZ is a public body that should defend and protect the law and not undermine the actions and activities of public bodies that seek to enforce public policy.

Impunity is not the same thing as rule of law. Nobody should be exempted from punishment or loss or escape from fines. International law demands that perpetrators of crimes must be brought to justice.

If LAZ had any sympathy with suspected criminals it should take concrete action to ameliorate the suffering of suspects crowded in Chimbokaila and Kamwala remand prisons. These people are living in hell because of the conditions they are subjected to.

LAZ should spearhead a well-organized and managed pro borno support programme that will help the poor and disposed access legal representation.

It is most unfortunate but a reality in Zambia that those who steal  huge amounts of money never go to prison because they can afford to pay for expert legal representation while those with little means languish in jails because they have no capacity to navigate our legal stem that has been made unnecessarily complex and expensive.

If LAZ is to be of service to the Zambian people, let it make an effort to liberate the legal system from elitism to respond to the aspirations and wishes of the Zambian people who want to see corruption, tax evasion and manipulation of the legal system by a select few brought to an end.

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