Amid revelations and growing public concerns of underhand dealings, president of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) Linda Kasonde has told Malawian lawyers to prudently use their influence in society to create a better future.
Kasonde observed that lawyers are important part of society as the law was an integral part of every kind of industry and endeavour.
The LAZ president was speaking yesterday during a two-day Malawi Law Society (MLS) conference and annual general meeting (AGM) in Mangochi, where she was the guest of honour.
The meeting, which started yesterday, is being held under the theme ‘The Malawian Lawyer in the 21st Century’.
Kasonde’s call comes barely weeks after revelations of criminal acts involving some lawyers and court staff, who reportedly connive to frustrate case proceedings.
In a leaked letter by Justice Esmie Chombo, Judge president for Lilongwe Registry, some lawyers and court staff have been conspiring to “displace or destroy a court file so as to frustrate case proceedings.”
Justice Chombo alleged that court staff is lured with money to prioritise work for certain legal houses and also remove documents of counsel representing the other party so as to mislead the court that the party failed to file the necessary documents prior to the date of hearing.
But in her keynote address to the meeting, Kasonde said lawyers were vital people because they have the ability to influence every sector of society as “we are called upon to provide solutions to various problems”.
“So, we must use that influence wisely to create a better future for our people be it in art, the environment or politics,” said Kasonde.
She said, just like in Malawi, in Zambia lawyers were also trying to keep up with modern trends in law while ensuring that they stay on the right side of the law.
“Equally difficult are finding solutions to congested courts and overcrowded prisons and the age-old question of how to make legal services accessible and affordable,” said Kasonde, adding: “I will not attempt at suggesting solutions at solving Malawian problems.”
MLS president Khumbo Soko, who is not seeking re-election in today’s election, urged the lawyers to maintain the rule of law and make the legal profession one that maintains an acute awareness of the direction in which the world is marching.
Meanwhile, three lawyers are set to compete in the presidential race of the society. These include Edwin Banda, Gift Nankhuni and Mwiza Nkhata.