Lungu through the Judiciary bars HH’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri for protesting ban of cell phones during treason trial


The Judiciary of Zambia says opposition UPND president Hakainde
Hichilema’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri will not be allowed audience
before any court until the Law Association of Zambia
disciplines him for posting commentaries on social media.

According to a letter dated August 11, 2017 addressed to LAZ
president Linda Kasonde, signed by Judiciary chief registrar
Charles Kafunda, Phiri is accused of posting statements against
the judiciary on various social media platforms.

“The attention of the Judiciary has been drawn to a number of
articles which have been circulating in the news media on the
internet since the 10th August, 2017 which have been attributed
to Mr Gilbert Phiri, a legal practitioner. The articles in
question have been published in the Zambian Eagle, an internet
publication as well as Facebook. The Judiciary has every reason
to believe that the said articles have also been circulating on
other media, Kafunda stated.

“The said articles have been running under various headings as
follow: ‘plans by court to stop journalists from using phones
during HH trial is totally unlawful and won’t be tolerated –
HH’s lawyers.’ And ‘HH Court updates warming up for Monday –
HH’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri writes’.”

He asked Kasonde to take action against Phiri.

“Arising from the foregoing, the Judiciary thereby lodges a
formal complaint of professional misconduct against the named
practitioner and expect your association to take the necessary
steps against the practitioner.
In the meantime, I have been directed to inform you that until
the complaint against the practitioner in question is
concluded, he will not be allowed audience before any court. By
copy of this letter, the practitioner in question is advised
accordingly,” stated Kafunda.

“The Judiciary wishes to serve a general notice to all your
members that in future, courts will not hesitate to deal with
any erring practitioners in accordance with the powers vested
in them.”