Former justice minister Wynter Kabimba says the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) must quickly take action against lawyers who are interfering with the internal operations of the judiciary.

Kabimba who is also General Secretary of the Rainbow party told News Diggers! in an interview that the conduct of lawyers at Mosha and company together with their renowned ally Lewis Mosho was in breach of the oath they took as they were admitted to the Bar.

Recently, Mosho’s accomplices from Mosha and Company threatened to call for an inquiry to probe Chief Justice Irene Mambilima for misconduct after she allegedly asked Judge Sunday Nkonde to recuse himself from handling the liquidation case of The Post newspaper.

In a letter to justice Mambilima dated January 4, 2018, signed by Mosha and Company, the law firm stated that her conduct was foreign, strange and unheard of.

“It came to light and our clients’ attention that your ladyship and the said Dr Fred M’membe were communicating on this subject and as such the Mast Newspaper, believed to be under the control of the said complainant reported as follows: ‘CJ tells Nkonde to stop handling Post liquidation’. Your ladyship, at page 7 of The Mast Newspaper, you are quoted to have written that, ‘it is competent for a judge with conduct of a case, to recuse herself or himself from adjudication on a matter, under section 6 and 7 of the Judicial Code of Conduct. Upon such recusal, a case is transferred from the judge to another…’. Further that, ‘she reminded Dr M’membe that his complaint to the JCC raised ethical issues’. Following the issues of the publication in the Mast Newspaper, it has since come to our attention client’s attention that you have still proceeded to request the judge to recuse himself and hand over the files hence the delay in concluding this matter, notwithstanding that the matter of recusal was dealt with by the judge and there is no appeal. Further that the issue of the complaint was dealt with by the High Court in Kitwe and stands concluded,” read the letter.

“Our clients are of the view that, if indeed this is what is going on, this approach is foreign, strange and unheard of and in breach of the provisions of the constitution as amended under Article 122 of Act No. 2 of 2016.”

The law firm gave her 24 hours in which to respond or their clients would request an inquiry into her decision to ask judge Nkonde to recuse himself.

Mosho however, contacted News Diggers! demanding to be disassociated from Mosha and Company and the agenda to remove the Chief Justice. He said he did not write the letter and his law firm Lewis Nathan was not involved.

But Kabimba wondered where the lawyers behind the move were getting such powers to interfere with the operations of the judiciary.

“Mosha and Company are not suppose to bring the name of the judiciary or the head of the judiciary into disrepute as lawyers. We take an oath as lawyers when we are admitted to uphold the integrity of the legal profession. So the conduct by Mosha and Company is in breach of the oath that they took as lawyers to uphold the integrity of the judiciary,” Kabimba said.

He called on LAZ to move in and institute disciplinary measures against the lawyers behind the move.

“LAZ must quickly take action against the man. He has no right to interfere in the internal administration of the judiciary. Nobody has given him powers to be policing the institutions of this country, we don’t even know where he is drawing those powers from but as a lawyer, he must realise that he took an oath to respect the judiciary, to uphold the integrity of the judiciary and the Chief Justice is the head of the judiciary,” said Kabimba.

“And if he is going to demean the judiciary, if he is going to be intimidating the judiciary, to bring the name of the judiciary into disrepute, that in itself is professional misconduct. And LAZ must take action against people like Mosha and COmpany to show everybody else in the legal profession that this kind of misconduct is unacceptable.”