Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba has breached the oath of secrecy by converting a government legal opinion rendered to him in his capacity as a government minister to unauthorized Patriotic Front use and should therefore be arrested and jailed, Douglas Syakalima has charged.
Breaching the oath of secrecy , according to Syakalima, was a criminal offence and Kabimba in his capacity as secretary general of the ruling party should not have sought legal advice from Solicitor General Musa Mwenye, which opinion was used by a private organization.
Whether there was connivance between Kabimba and Mwenye to knowingly breach the oath of secrecy was a matter to be established by appropriate inquiries as both were liable for arrest and prosecution.
Syakalima added that Mwenye should not vent his anger on innocent institutions and individuals because it was not their fault that his legal opinion to Kabimba was part of the court bundles in a matter the ruling Patriotic Front was seeking to block Dora Siliya of Petauke Central, Maxwell Mwale of Malambo and Hastings Sililo of Mulobezi constituencies respectively from recontesting their seats after they were nullified by the Supreme Court.
He said it was important for Mwenye to direct his wrath on Kabimba who had chosen to use his legal opinion to safeguard the interest of his political party, contrary to the law.
The former UPND Siavonga parliamentarian explained that if Mwenye had rendered his legal opinion to Kabimba as a government minister, then the Justice Minister had abused his office by writing a letter on a PF letterhead and forwarding it to Justice Chibesakunda as the Acting Chief Justice. “These are all offences,” he said.
“If what Mwenye is saying is anything to go by, then it is clear that Kabimba had breached the oath of secrecy and that is a criminal offence that attracts arrest and a possible jail sentence. And if Mwenye and Kabimba had connived to breach the oath of secrecy, they must know they have committed a crime and should be arrested immediately. They must not rush into intimidating people and institutions that have exposed their criminality,” Syakalima said.
He said Mwenye was sounding like Kabimba had stolen his legal opinion for his private political interest and should therefore consider calling for the arrest of the Justice Minister for betraying his trust.
Syakalima said time has come for Mwenye and Kabimba to explain themselves on how a PF letter meant to serve the interest of the political party had been copied to Acting Chief Justice Chibesakunda and President Michael Sata.
And People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti has said the position of Mwenye as Solicitor General had become tricky and precarious following revelations by the Supreme Court that he (Mwenye) had rendered legal opinion to a political party in his capacity as a senior government lawyer.
“The law of morality demands that he who goes to equity must go with clean hands. If it is true that Mwenye rendered legal advice to Kabimba as Justice Minister and that opinion was later used by his political party to disadvantage other citizens, then he certainly must explain his position. What Mwenye should do before threatening other people with legal suits is deny that he did not offer such legal opinion to PF. He must also deny the existence of the PF letter copied to the Acting Chief Justice otherwise his position has become unattainable,” Mulongoti said.
Mulongoti said the Solicitor General and the Attorney General were under no obligation to give advice to the PF as a ruling party and that if Mwenye’s argument was that he had rendered such a sensitive and confidential legal opinion to Kabimba as Justice Minister, then the PF secretary general should be made to explain why he had taken the advice to his party.