In a correspondence obtained by Courtroommail, the LAZ called for respect for the rule of law and compliance with court orders in Zambia. The Statement was provoked by the news that the Minister of Justice showed unwillingness to obey court orders to pay back what he and other ministers earned during their illegal stay in office.
The letter read:
The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is deeply perturbed by reports in the media indicating that the Hon. Minister of Justice, Mr. Given Lubinda has stated that he will not comply with the judgment of the Constitutional Court in the case of LAZ v Ngosa Simbyakula and 53 others, which ordered the former Ministers who had illegally stayed in cabinet after the dissolution of parliament to pay back what they earned during their illegal stay in office, because doing so would be a violation of his rights.
LAZ asserts that the unfortunate statements attributed to the Honourable Minister of Justice, if true, are a serious assault on the rule of law and constitutionalism in our country and are a recipe for anarchy. The rule of law demands that any decision of a court of law must be obeyed by all parties affected by it unless there is a stay of execution of the decision or unless the decision is overfurned by an appellate court.
LAZ is seriously concerned that such statements are being attributed to the Minister of Justice, who should be in the forefront to champion the rule of law and respect for decisions of our legitimately constituted courts.
If the statements attributed to the Minister are true, we demand that the Minister
should resign from his position as Minister of Justice because continuing in office with
his stance on the matter would be utterly inappropriate and a perpetual blight on the
rule of law in our country.
We also call upon the President to dismiss any serving Minister or government official who is subject of the said judgment of the Constitutional Court and who refuses to pay back because not doing so would be a mockery on the Government’s stated
commitment to the rule of law.
LAZ also calls upon the Attorney General, the Secretary to the Cabinet and the
Secretary to the Treasury to ensure that the money that the Ministers were paid is
recovered without further delay as the funds belong to the public.
In the meantime, LAZ will continue engaging its lawyers in the matter to pursue all lawful avenues to ensure that the judgment of the Constitutional Court is enforced.