By Nation Reporter
THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is just a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) like any other and should avoid the temptation of promoting illegalities by supporting The Post Newspaper that has failed to settle its K53 million tax debts that it has accumulated over many years, Stephen Kampyongo has charged.
Mr Kampyongo, who is Local Government and Housing Minister, said LAZ under the leadership of Linda Kasonde risked losing relevance if it was going to continue casting aspersions on the country’s judicial system.
He said it was shocking that LAZ had elected to disregard the Supreme Court ruling by claiming that the Tax Appeals Tribunal could overrule the decision of the highest court in the land.
Mr Kampyongo stated that the current LAZ leadership was exhibiting partisan traits and was politicising The Post Newspaper indebtedness in a scheme meant to win public sympathy for the newspaper.
He advised that the new LAZ leadership should not away from its original mandate for which it was established and begin championing causes that had political inclinations.
Mr Kampyongo said in an interview yesterday that LAZ did not start with Ms Kasonde, the current president but had been in existence for a long time under different leaders who executed its mandate without confrontation.
He said it was unfortunate that LAZ under Ms Kasonde had adopted a confrontational stance against government and when censured, the legal body was crying victim.
“LAZ risks losing its relevance and confidence if its current leadership continues undermining the courts of law in Zambia. The Supreme Court of Zambia delivered a judgment ordering The Post Newspaper to settle its tax debt and we have the LAZ saying the Tax Revenue Authority can overrule such a decision. LAZ should be the last to rubbish the decision of our courts in Zambia and what the association is doing is promoting anarchy,” Mr Kampyongo said.
He advised that Ms Kasonde should take time and reflect on her predecessors’ roles and actions before attempting to change the direction of the association.
Mr Kampyongo said LAZ was there when Zambia reverted to multi-party democracy and that the association had always been promoting good governance which he said was being undermined by the current leadership.
He said it was the members of the association who had challenged The Post Newspaper debts in court and that the courts had decided and it was only logical that the newspaper should settle its debt before resuming its normal operations.