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LAZ applies to join Post case

CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has applied to join the winding up petition involving the Post Newspapers Limited and some of its former employees, saying the case has potential to affect public perception and confidence in the Judiciary.
According to an affidavit in support for an order for joinder sworn by LAZ president Linda Kasonde, the organisation argues that the case has generated significant media attention and interest in the general public which has become a concern for it.
Ms Kasonde says the decision to join the case was arrived at by the council of LAZ which resolved that investigations were to be instituted and that if it was suggested that it was needful, LAZ would apply to intervene.
“That the Law Association of Zambia, in keeping with its statutory objects, has been consistent and steadfast in its defence of the Judiciary and of the judicial independence in the republic of Zambia,” she says.
Ms Kasonde submits in the affidavit that preliminary issues raised by one of the interested parties, Post Newspapers editor-in-chief Fred M’membe raises serious matters touching on the independence and objectivity of commercial court judge Sunday Nkonde, which may affect the proper administration of justice.
Meanwhile, the petitioners have asked Mr Justice Nkonde to dismiss the application in which Mr M’membe wants the judge to recuse himself from handling the case.
According to their skeleton arguments, Mr M’membe has no legal standing to make such an application because he is not part of the case.
And the petitioners have filed summons for an order to cross-examine Mr M’membe for allegedly misleading the court by purporting to have sworn an affidavit in Lusaka when he was allegedly out of the country at the time the said affidavit was sworn.
According to the summons sworn by Abel Mboozi, one of the petitioners, the issues raised in the affidavit are of a serious and contentious nature and cannot be conclusively adjudicated upon by affidavit evidence but that Mr M’membe should be cross-examined in person over the said allegations.




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