President Edgar Lungu has told newly elected Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Abyudi Shonga, State Counsel, that his government is ready to collaborate more with the lawyers’ body and wondered why some lawyers elevated to the status of State Counsel have chosen to oppose government instead of working with it.
Speaking when he met Mr Shonga, who was accompanied by his vice-president Lungisani Zulu and new treasurer Ngosa Simachela at State House today, President Lungu said LAZ should find it easy to work with the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary because all the three arms of government are headed by lawyers.
“His Excellency, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, today met the new Law Association of Zambia President, Mr Abyudi Shonga, SC. During the meeting, the President expressed hope that his administration will collaborate more with the LAZ executive stating that the association should find it easy to work with the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary because they are all headed by lawyers. The President also wondered why some lawyers elevated to the status of State Counsel opted to oppose Government instead of working with the state,” Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Mr Isaac Chipampe has stated.
He further quoted President Lungu as saying “State Counsel are lawyers for the State, but we have State Counsel demonizing the Executive.”
“The President asked LAZ to look into the matter, stating that State Counsel only needed to write to the President for a meeting when issues arose,” Mr Chipampe stated.
And Mr Shonga thanked the President for the meeting and offered to work with Government in the fight against the COVID- 19 pandemic.
He also said the government should feel free to work with LAZ in the constitution making process because the association’s core mandate demands that it participates in the legislative process, quoting Section 4 of the LAZ Act.
Meanwhile, Mr Shonga said LAZ is concerned that despite a huge number of graduate lawyers, there are few job opportunities.
He asked Government, through the President, to create opportunities for the lawyers.
Mr Shonga promised that the new executive will work within the confines of the LAZ Act.
He also urged the President to help ensure next year’s presidential elections are free and fair.
In response, President Lungu assured LAZ that the elections will be free and fair and expressed confidence in the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to manage the elections.