Saturday, January 02, 2010

Sondashi cautions Sangwa over his views on LAZ

Sondashi cautions Sangwa over his views on LAZ
By George Chellah
Sat 02 Jan. 2010, 04:01 CAT

LUSAKA lawyer Dr Ludwig Sondashi has urged former president Frederick Chiluba’s lawyer John Sangwa to be careful with his views on the position of Law

Association of Zambia (LAZ) over the matter involving Director of Public Commenting on Sangwa’s remarks on LAZ’s call for Mchenga to resign, Dr Sondashi - who is also president for the Forum for Democratic Alternatives (FDA) - described Sangwa’s statement as most unfortunate.

“For Sangwa to have said that, I don’t think that Sangwa should have said that. The fact that he is a lawyer assisting Dr Chiluba… because he is Dr Chiluba’s lawyer disqualifies him from making commentaries like that,” Dr Sondashi said.

“He is practically interested… he shouldn’t talk like that. His role is to raise those issues in court. He is not qualified to address the public on the issue which he is defending his client.”

Dr Sondashi advised Sangwa to exercise caution with his views.

“As a senior counsel…Mr Sangwa should be careful because he can be cited by LAZ for saying what he is saying,” Dr Sondashi said.

He said the step taken by LAZ was on behalf of every lawyer.

“So he should be very careful and the fact that he is representing his client, he is entitled to representing his client but if he has any issues… those issues should be addressed to court,” Dr Sondashi said.

Recently, the Times of Zambia quoted Sangwa as having said that it was lawlessness for LAZ to champion the resignation of the DPP. He urged LAZ to take the matter to court if it had enough evidence that the DPP’s action was against the law. Sangwa advised LAZ to desist from behaving like hooligans or vigilantes who worked without evidence.

He said LAZ was not supposed to undermine a legal institution because its obligation was to strengthen it and that those without evidence should learn to accept the outcome of cases.

And Dr Sondashi said 2009 was a year that was badly spent.

“You know a country prospers when the government in power is doing well. In our case, the government didn’t engage itself in progressive activities. Instead it looked like everyone in government was trying to make money for themselves and this also applied to the highest offices,” Dr Sondashi said.

“Instead of the President being firm and controlling the affairs of the state the President went on protecting criminals and the people who were engaged in misuse of their positions and misuse of public resources, this was regrettable.”

On expectations for 2010, Dr Sondashi said he did not see much improvement in the affairs of the state.

“This gloomy picture is from what happened last year where people like former Task Force on Corruption chairman Max Nkole were being removed from office,” Dr Sondashi said. “The Vice-President was introducing draconian press legislation to deal with press freedom and one cannot see how this year will be different from the previous year so long as its the same leadership.

So this is a very big challenge for Zambians and it calls for concerted effort so that we can find a way forward.”

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