Judicial crisis: LAZ calls for emergency AGM

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has called for an extra-ordinary meeting to be held in two weeks to address the continued stay of Justice Lombe Chibesakunda in the office of the Chief Justice.

LAZ president James Banda said an emergency meeting was called on Saturday to discuss the current confusion in the Judiciary after the statement issued by the public relations officer, Terry Musonda nullifying the Chipata Central and Lukulu West which in normal circumstances should not have been allowed.

Mr Banda said it was resolved during the emergency meeting that an extra-ordinary meeting should be held in the next two weeks to discuss the impasse that has been created in the judicial system by the continued stay of Justice Chibesakunda at the helm of the Judiciary.

Mr Banda has charged that the confusion that has engulfed the Judiciary was as a result of the failure by Justice Chibesakunda to provide proper leadership in the interpretation of the law regarding the nullification of some seats and the barring of opposition candidates from participating in the September by-elections.

“We agreed to call for an extra-ordinary meeting with only one agenda item, and that is to discuss the continued stay in office of the Acting Chief Justice Chibesakunda. We are sending notices to all our members to prepare for the extra-ordinary meeting in two weeks to address issues concerning the Acting Chief Justice and the recent happenings in the Judiciary,” Mr. Banda said.

Mr Banda said it was unacceptable for the Judiciary to allow the interpretation of Electoral Act through a press statement issued by incompetent people like the Judiciary public relations officer Terry Musonda.

“LAZ is concerned with the apparent lack or complete failure of leadership in the Judiciary where you have judicial interpretation of serious provisions of the law by way of a press statement by the public relations officer.

“We need to relook at the continued stay of Judge Chibesakunda at the helm of the Judiciary who has lamentable failed to provide expected leadership,” Mr. Banda said.

The Judiciary on Friday issued a statement nullifying the election of Mutolo Phiri of Chipata and Misheck Mutelo of Lukulu West and the barring of candidates whose parliamentary seats were nullified on allegations of corruption from recontesting their seats.