EIGHTEEN law firms file a motion to represent Chibesakunda

Lombe Chibesakunda
acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda

EIGHTEEN law firms have filed a motion in the Lusaka High Court to represent acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda in a case in which the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) wants her appointment annulled.
Three of the law firms are headed by State Counsels, a superior position in the law fraternity, and these are Bonaventure Mutale of Ellis and Company, Sunday Nkonde of SBN Legal Practitioners and Humphrey Ndhlovu of HH Ndhlovu and Company.
This is contained in a conditional memorandum of appearance filed in the Lusaka High Court registry yesterday.
On September 23 this year, LAZ president James Banda filed a statement of claim in the Lusaka High Court requesting the court to declare the appointment of Justice Chibesakuda as illegal, null and void as she has exceeded retirement age and cannot be re-appointed for a second time.
Other law firms to represent Justice Chibesakunda are Sam Chisulo and Company, Chitabo Chiinga Associates, Ituna Partners, EBM Chambers, Mukumbi and Company and MZ Mwandenga and Company.
Dove Chambers, Mutemwa Chambers, AMC Legal Practitioners, KBF and Partners, Chilupe and Permanent Chambers, AD Mumba and Associates, MSK Advocates, Derrick Mulenga and Company and Z Muya and Company are other firms seeking to represent Justice Chibesakunda.
The lawyers representing Justice Chibesakunda are expected to file an appropriate application responding to Mr Banda’s application within 14 days.
LAZ will be represented by 12 law firms and they include Shamwana and Company, Central Chambers, Muleza and Company, Kambo Chipanzya and Company, Mambwa, Siwila and Lisimba Advocates as well as AM Wood and Company.
Others are Sinkamba and Partners, Mak Partners, Makebi Zulu Advocates, Mweemba and Company, Hobday Kabwe and Company and Freddie and Company.
In the statement of claim, Mr Banda said there is a serious breach of the constitution by appointing Justice Chibesakunda as she is over the retirement age.
Mr Banda said Justice Chibesakunda was first appointed as Supreme Court judge in 1997 and that upon reaching her retirement age, she was appointed on contract in April 2009 by the President for a term of three years, which expired in April 2012.
He said President Sata re-appointed Justice Chibesakunda as acting Chief Justice on June 14, 2012, which appointment LAZ says was unlawful as the President did not have the power to re-appoint her after her contract had expired.