After officiating at the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association Conference in Livingstone, President Lungu made the following statement:
“Zambia is, indeed, honoured to have won the bid to host this year’s Commonwealth Law Conference held in Livingstone today, the 9th April, 2019. It’s a joyous achievement for me and majority of our fellow citizens. Our legal fraternity has, indeed, placed Zambia where it must be in the Commonwealth community of nations and beyond. We shall always endeavour to be a country of laws. As I officiated at the 21st Commonwealth Law Conference in our beautiful tourist capital, Livingstone, under the theme: ‘The rule of law in retreat? Challenges for the modern Commonwealth’, I did so with a lot of pride that our visitors will help tell a story of the Zambia they experienced.”
He added: “As the Latin maxim goes: “Fiat justitia ruat caelum” which means, “Let justice be done though the heavens fall”, I urge practitioners to take up the mantle, to be the watchdog that ensures that the rule of law thrives. They must keep in check the Executive, judicial and legislative arms of governance in an effort to ensure all are alert and adhere to the tenets of the law. Let us work together as we continue reforming our laws for the better. It’s a promise my government is committed to keep.”
No mention of Linda Kasonde who was elected vice-president of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association a day earlier at the same event in Livingstone. How can the President say he is very proud that Zambia won the bid to host the event and not be proud that Kasonde emerged in the leadership of the Commonwealth Bar?
The President says he wants legal practitioners in Zambia to “take up the mantle and be the watchdog that ensure that the rule of law thrives”, but he doesn’t want to acknowledge that a Zambian with tested leadership has been elevated to a high level of enforcing checks and balances where the rule of law is concerned. That is very unfortunate.
Zambians are very proud of Linda Kasonde! She was the first ever female president of the Law Association of Zambia. She served diligently and even if some lawyers may disapprove of her intolerant style of leadership, the public was left yearning when she decided to run for only one term as LAZ leader. In fact, she left a huge gap that has not yet been filled in the Association. Kasonde is pioneering a fresh brand of young female leaders, starting with her legal profession. Being elected vice-president of the Commonwealth Bar Association goes to show the confidence that other noble citizens outside Zambia have in her. We must be very happy for Linda because this is a sign that we still have plenty to benefit from her.
So, why is President Lungu not proud of Kasonde’s achievement? Is it because she kept him on his toes when she served as LAZ president? Is it because she stood firm in condemning injustice, judicial interference by State House and the breakdown of rule of law by the Patriotic Front? We remember that the PF sent cadres with pangas, hammers and screwdrivers to go and hack Kasonde at the LAZ secretariat in 2017, because of her firm stance against lawlessness. Is this the reason why Mr Lungu feels the newly-elected Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association vice-president doesn’t deserve his congratulations? We don’t understand.
What we do understand is that this President has a very strange way of managing his hate and dislike for people who challenge his bad governance. If a PF lawyer or anyone else who sings praises for the President was elected in the same position that Linda has, State House would have even issued a statement of congratulations! But since it’s Linda, nobody around President Lungu cares!
But this is not good for a Head of State, especially one who claims to be a seasoned lawyer. Like we stated before, Mr Lungu is not a President of the PF only, he is a President for Linda Kasonde, Hakainde Hichilema and Telesphore Mpundu. He is the President of anyone who considers Zambia their country or home. He needs to show love, goodwill and compassion for all happenings in the country, regardless of who is involved.
Mwandi, Linda don’t mind the President and his bitter cohorts! Your achievement is causing something bulgy on their throats. They will never appreciate you, but what matters is that the rest of Zambia is very proud of your success. We love you and wish you a prosperous tenure in your new role at the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association