WYNTER Kabimba says insidious attempts to arrest the Director of Public Prosecutions are being championed by junior lawyers as seniors stand by without taking steps to salvage the situation. Kabimba, a State Counsel and Rainbow Party leader, said what the country witnessed last week when the DPP Mutembo Nchito was arrested in Chongwe was unprecedented in the history of Zambia and the legal practice in particular.
In a letter to Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president George Chisanga, copied to the Chief Justice, leader of delegation of the European Union, the American Ambassador and the British High Commissioner, Kabimba said he had no doubt that ordinary citizens who looked at the legal profession with solace and expectation that it stood for the public good and interest were amazed and profoundly dismayed with such assault on the judiciary.
“I have decided to write to you and the entire legal fraternity through your office with a heavy heart as a senior legal practitioner in our jurisdiction regarding the events surrounding the Director of Public Prosecutions which are, by now, a matter of common knowledge to all citizens. I wish to point out at the outset that what we are witnessing today is unprecedented in the history of our country and our legal practice in particular. At no time, not even under the One-Party State did we experience such attempts to intimidate and/or compromise the functionality of the judiciary as has been the case with the events of the last week,” read the letter in part.
“ I have no doubt in my mind that the ordinary citizen of Zambia who look at our profession with solace and expectation that it stands for the public good and interest must be amazed and profoundly dismayed with such assault on the judiciary. What is more astounding is that these insidious attempts are being championed by the junior legal practitioners as the seniors who should protect the profession stand by without taking steps to salvage the situation.”
He said what was happening to Mutembo did not affect him in his individual capacity, but was retrogressive to the promotion of an independent judicial system in the country. “I hope we are not entertaining any illusions that what is happening is all about Mutembo Nchito alone. My considered view is that this is nothing but an attempt to intimidate the legal fraternity and the judiciary, the two pillars of the rule of law in our country, which pillars have always acted in the public interest against those in power and those who had abused power while in public office,” Kabimba said.
Kabimba challenged the international community to rise to the occasion and help protect the integrity of the office of DPP “I would also like to call upon those in the donor community who believe and preach that the rule of law is the cornerstone for democracy and economic development to raise their concerns about the on-going DPP saga with those in authority,” said Kabimba.