THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) risks losing its relevance because it is drifting away from its mandate due to compromised individuals who are politically inclined and are making haphazard decisions to impress their parties, the Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) has charged.
ZRP president Wright Musoma said the current executive of LAZ was ‘‘diluted by elements’’ that were only interested in using the association in order to advance their objectives, thereby compromising professionalism and eroding public confidence in the legal association.
Mr. Musoma said LAZ’s condemnation of Patriotic Front (PF) members who were demanding for the resignation of Attorney General Likando Kalaluka for alleged professional misconduct and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) over its decision to suspend the licences for Muvi TV, Komboni and Itezhi-Tezhi radio stations was a clear testimony that the authority was compromised.
He said LAZ had drifted from the autonomous body that was capable of providing checks and balances from a professional viewpoint to a politically charged institution due to the presence of certain individuals who had political ambitions.
He said if LAZ continued with its political biasness on matters of national development, it will be difficult for Zambians to take it seriously.
“LAZ is slowly losing its professional relevance due to certain decisions which it is making which are clearly politically biased because some individuals within the realms of power are using their positions to settle old scores with their perceived enemies.
‘‘For example, its honorary secretary Sashi Kateka who condemned PF youths for demanding the resignation of Mr. Likando Kalaluka is sister to former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito.
“The same person attacked the IBA for carrying out its mandate when it suspended broadcasting licences for Muvi TV and the two radio stations without realising that spreading hate speech has the potential to drive this country into civil war. These are the people who are making LAZ irrelevant when it is supposed to be a respected professional institution whose decisions must be well-thought,” Mr. Musoma said. He said Zambians expected LAZ to be above partisan politics as an autonomous institution but that the current state of affairs at LAZ left a lot to be desired as it was clear that it had become a shadow of its old self due to its political biasness and alignment.
On Thursday, LAZ condemned the PF for allegedly making unsubstantiated and unwarranted utterances on Constitutional Court judges which it said would have the effect of eroding public confidence in the judiciary and undermining the judicial system.
LAZ also said the suspension of licences for Muvi TV, Komboni and Itezhi-Tezhi radio stations by the IBA was illegal and called upon the authority to immediately rescind its decision by allowing the three media institutions to resume operations.