OPINION: The Battle for the Heart and Soul of LAZ

It is sad that the ascendancy of a woman to the chairmanship of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) should bring so much acrimony. Ideally this is a feat we should all celebrate as a country. We should all be rooting for her to aim to break more barriers and overcome gender stereotypes that characterize our male dominated society.

Why then have we got to where we are? Not too long ago we were all basking in the glory of having a lady LAZ president and it was not just any lady but one that had worked herself up from serving as LAZ honorary secretary before her learned colleagues saw her fit to be elected vice president. It was not surprising that she was elected first lady LAZ president for over the years she had earned her badges. It was not until her voice became associated with dissent that some people began to frown on her.

All of a sudden people were being reminded of how her not being married was an issue with her position in society. Once the LAZ took critical positions on the constitution making process it was Linda who picked to carry the cross. All of a sudden Linda had become an opposition sympathizer. What was opposition about having asked the Constitutional Court to rule on whether ministers were rightly in office after parliament had been dissolved? What was opposition about LAZ applying to be co-joined to the presidential petition, a matter that was not only a political matter but also heavily in public interest? Linda has had to take a battering for almost every imaginable voice that questions government’s position on anything.

Why has LAZ emerged as such a strong voice? The answer is simple. Our society’s moral voices have over the years been depleted with those in power enjoying an easy ride without being questioned. Look at what has happened to our once upon a time vibrant trade unions? When the unions spoke those days everybody listened. What has happened to mother church? Even simple and straight forward advice from the church is construed to be political. What has happened to the private media? So when LAZ raises its voice under these circumstances it seems so out of place that people have become so accustomed to one voice, the voice that already has ZNBC, Times of Zambia, Daily Mail, ZANIS and Daily Nation and want every little media space in the country. Is this the kind of society we want to live in? So once LAZ is wiped off what else is going to remain to provide checks and balances in our country? It could have been comforting to see the fight in LAZ championed by some of our distinguished legal brains but a checklist of the champions of the anti LAZ agenda is hardly inspiring.

Just do a quick check Kelvin Fube, Rabson Malipenga, Hobday Kabwe and ask yourselves whether they represent the best of what should drive the final nail in the LAZ coffin?
As the legal fraternity converges to be in tow with a script laid for them by politicians they should reflect on the interests of the greater majority of Zambians. With the vote of no confidence coming up against Linda Kasonde and her executive people should be forward looking and reflect on what the anti LAZ forces want to replace Kasonde with.

For now we ask the purveyors of these machinations to reflect deeply on what is the best for this country.

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