LUSAKA Lawyer Jonas Zimba says he is not shaken or broken by his suspension.
The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) last week suspended Zimba from practicing law.
This was after the Legal Practitioners Committee found him guilty of professional misconduct for walking out of court.
And in an interview, Zimba said he was not shaken by the same.
“I saw the ruling on some blogs, I don’t know who put it there. Basically, they are saying that they found me guilty of professional misconduct in that I walked out of court before honourable Walusiku. Remember on the 22nd June 2019, there was that matter for Ultimate Insurance involving Katotobwe, that perilous instruction, that is what they are talking about. I am not shaken. This in no way shakes me, this will no way break me and if people think that it is going to do that, I think that is the mistaken call. If people want to have the view that it is as a result of corrupt practices, that would be malicious, maybe they should point out those corrupt practices. It is walking out of court, exactly what they are talking about,” Zimba said.
When asked if he would challenge the decision, he said, for now, he was keeping his cool.
“I don’t know what to do. But I think at this particular point, I will keep my cool. I will watch and see what happens because I believe in a fair judgement and in my belief, in a fair judgement, I don’t believe that anyone should receive anything less than what is fair in any given circumstance. I strongly believe in the dictates of the Bible and especially the writings in the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 1 vs 17 ensuring that ‘you should not show partiality in judging, you should hear both small and greater alike, do not be afraid of anyone, for judgement belongs to God’. For now, let us leave it like that. We will open this chapter another time. And if I had a way, I would be putting on a t-shirt ‘enclosed for renovation’,” said Zimba.
In its ruling, recently, the Legal Practitioners Committee found Zimba guilty of professional misconduct and directed the immediate suspension of his licence.
The committee was ruling on a complaint lodged by Lusaka Resident Magistrate Alice Walusiku against defence lawyers then, in the case involving Ultimate Insurance.
The complaint was against lawyers; Nchima Nchito SC, Jonas Zimba, Chisuwo Hamwela, Dr John Mulilwa SC and Mwansa Chambaila.
The committee however found Zimba guilty of professional misconduct, saying a lawyer who showed his back to the court as an act of final defiance when the court was still sitting exhibits one of the most despicable acts of professional misconduct.
“To the extent that Mr Zimba was party to the application in the High Court, what we have said in respect of Mr Nchito above applies with equal force to Mr Zimba. There is however a different and disturbing aspect to the complaint against Mr Zimba. Firstly, that he accused the court of open hostility and secondly that when he presented the Court with a stay of proceedings issued by the Ndola High Court, he proceeded to walk out of court, leaving his colleague, Mr Chambaila, because in his view, there was nothing more to talk about. We have applied our minds to this aspect of the complaint and find the same as proved. A lawyer who shows his back to the court as an act of final defiance, when the court is still sitting, exhibits one of the most despicable acts of professional misconduct in the face of the court,” the ruling read.
“The complainant should have held this Advocate in contempt of court in the context of Section 52(j) of the Legal Practitioners Act and taken action in terms of section 53 thereof. We also find that there was no basis for the allegation that the Complainant had allocated the case to herself or that she was engaging in exparte communication with the prosecution. Having found the Practitioner Jonas Zimba guilty of professional misconduct, we direct the immediate suspension of this practitioner’s license and we refer the matter to the disciplinary committee for further action. Except as hereinbefore stated, we find all other allegations against Mr Zimba as unproved. We end on a note of advice. Courts should utilize their power under section 53 of the Legal Practitioners Act in respect of advocates they deem to have conducted themselves unprofessionally when appearing before them. The power allocated by section 53 belongs to the court and not the legal practitioners committee.”