IT IS gratifying that the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has finally come out in the open to state its legal opinion on various events that have occurred in the country which include the publication of a secret conversation recorded at the home of Minister of Finance, Alexander Chikwanda, and the unconfirmed failing health of President Michael Sata.
This is as it should be in a country like ours where the justice system takes long to conclude its cases.
The delay in the disposal of cases is however not the fault of the Judiciary as resources to improve the justice system in Zambia have not been readily available.
Therefore, we wish to encourage LAZ to be proactive in offering regular legal opinions on matters of public interest so that even before one takes a matter to court, a base would have been established.
Although LAZ’s opinion is not the ultimate in legal interpretation as aggrieved parties need to satisfy the courts of law with evidence, at least the legal opinion would be coming from a legal body.
What makes LAZ an important body in our growing democratic dispensation is the fact that it is the same members of LAZ who stand in courts of law to argue out their position on various legal disputes.
In the statement issued yesterday, LAZ was categorical that someone violated Mr Chikwanda’s constitutional rights to privacy if the recording in his own house was done without his consent.
Indeed, it was done without his consent which constitutes an offence and we hope the culprits will face the law they violated with impunity.
While Mr Chikwanda has hinted that he would not sue over the secret recording, this does not make it right that people’s rights could be trampled upon with no remorse at all.
LAZ has made it clear that aggrieved parties can take matters to the High Court for legal determinations.
LAZ also counselled that people should not be aggrieved with the Zambia Revenue Authority when they demand payment of tax as matters pertaining to the payment of tax have to be complied with.
On the health of the President, LAZ has said that this should not be a matter which should be shrouded in secrecy and controversy.
We hope Zambians will take the LAZ position on the various national issues of public concern as a guide instead of politicising the matter in the court of public perception.
Zambians should learn to consult various authorities when they are faced with challenges so that they can render their opinions.
Government should equally be proactive in its handling of issues of national concern to avoid speculations and innuendos.
We hope the legal opinions that LAZ has rendered will help give a direction to the current misunderstandings.