George Chellah, a diploma holder in journalism argues law with LAZ
By George Chellah (Special Assistant to the president on press and public relations.He holds a diploma in journalism from Evelyn Hone College)
State house notes with grave concern and difficulty the exaggerative statement from the President of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) Mr. James Banda.
Clearly, in the course of his unjustifiable censure of the Executive arm of Government, Mr. Banda has chosen to deliberately ignore the fundamental realities and principles of governance even on matters that are presently before the Courts of law such as the recent deportations. As an officer of the Court himself, we expect Mr. Banda to be wary of this contemptuous approach to these matters. Therefore, we resist the temptation of being drawn into discussing cases that are before our respectable Courts of law.
Additionally, we find Mr. Banda’s interpretation of the President’s valid observation on the investigations by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) unfair and not in line with the general practice and standard of democratic states. Mr. Banda should be reminded that it is a procedural and acceptable norm for the ACC or any investigative agency of Government to notify the President if any senior Government official is under probe. If the President is not informed about the alleged misconduct of his senior officers; how is he supposed to censure them as a supervising authority in the event that they are found wanting but not criminally culpable? This is a general governance practice no wonder we are at pains to grasp Mr. Banda’s argument.
Our Constitution clearly spells out the values and standards of our growing democracy and this administration remains determined and desirous to deepen the democratic system, rule of law, the culture of human rights and freedoms among other essential requirements of acceptable governance.
On matters of governance and the rule of law, this administration has demonstrated far-reaching magnanimity and fairness, which at times is viewed as a weakness by those who have publicly declared to make this country ungovernable. We therefore, urge Mr. Banda to deeply reflect on some of these issues before launching unwarranted attacks on the Executive.
Lastly, this administration through the Office of the Attorney General and Solicitor General has had a very close working relationship with LAZ on various matters of national interest and we would like the status quo to be maintained as we value their input on several matters of concern provided the criticism is genuine and meant to build.