Dr. Vernon Johnson Mwaanga backs LAZ President Linda Kasonde
By Dr. Vernon Johnson Mwaanga
Statement by Dr Vernon J Mwaanga on attacks by state house on the Judiciary and threats by the pf Secretary General on the LAZ President Linda Kasonde .
In all modern democratic states, there are three arms of the state namely the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. These arms perform very specific functions assigned to them by the constitution.
these functions have always been respected in Zambia and have operated independent of each other. Attacks on the Judiciary by President Edgar Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda on the Judiciary are an unacceptable and dangerous intrusion on the Judiciary which have no place in Zambia. Even during the 18 years of one party rule , there were no such unprecedented attacks on the integrity of the Judiciary even when they passed judgments against the state or shot down powers of the President, which happened times without number . How would the executive feel if Judges were to come out on tv or using other media houses, attack the executive ? I am prepared to bet that there would be a justified public outcry as never heard or seen before.
Where has this intolerance come from all of a sudden and where is it going to lead to ? There has always been a modicum of mutual respect between the three arms of the state even when they do not agree and that is what the people of Zambia would like to see. If this does not happen, our country will degenerate into a state of anarchy.
For the sake of our democracy, leave the judiciary alone , so that they perform their constitutional duties without intimidation or threats from the Presidency or other arms of government.
Equally sad is the so called war declared on Linda Kasonde the President of the Law Association of Zambia , who has merely been performing her duty by speaking out on matters of injustice, law and order . The Law Association has been outspoken since independence in 1964 for speaking on behalf of the downtrodden and the voiceless and the attacks on Ms Kasonde its President are therefore unwarranted and an affront on the functions of LAZ. It is a fact that they have at times said things which annoy or don’t please the government of the day, but is this sufficient to declare war on its spokesperson Mr PF secretary general ? We don’t want war and i mean any war in Zambia, which has been an oasis of peace and tranquility for over 52 years. Disagreements among us as Zambians should be respected by all and the tendency to treat all those with opposing or different views as enemies is horribly wrong and cuts across the tenets of democracy, good governance and must be purged. We are not a monolithic state where everyone thinks alike. The day that happens, I will know that something has seriously gone wrong in Zambia. It is important for us to maintain a healthy respect even when we disagree without being disagreeable.
The lawyers in this country have as much right as anybody else to speak out candidly on national issues. One only has to look at their record of consistency over the years and how they attacked the late President Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba when he unsuccessfully tried to tinker with the constitution by going for a third Presidential term of office and yet at no time, did he lash out at LAZ. The three arms of the state must respect each others domains, for our nascent democracy to survive and even flourish.