Mmegi Online :: SADC lambasted for keeping quite in bad times
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Last Updated
Tuesday 24 April 2018, 14:46 pm.
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SADC lambasted for keeping quite in bad times

The chief executive officer of the Law Society of Zambia, Dr Vernon Mwaanga has accused the Southern African Development Comminuty (SADC) of being dye-in-the-wool believers in silent diplomacy such that things get out of control in member states without a murmur from their neighbours.
By Bame Piet Fri 11 Aug 2017, 15:35 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: SADC lambasted for keeping quite in bad times








Mwaanga said many countries in the region have gone through political problems, which were only resolved by mediators from outside the region.

He said that the Democratic Republic of Congo  (DRC) is burning, but SADC is keeping quite and seemingly having no ideas to provide solutions to the problem.

“This deafening silence is not working well for the region because very soon people will be wondering what the regional bloc is all about.”

He said that the former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo had to intervene in DRC after it was clear that SADC was not prepared to do so.

The DRC President, Joseph Kabila, whose second term expired last year, has postponed election several times and there is no date yet for the next presidential vote.

Currently, the opposition leader in Zambia is in custody and facing treason charges, but SADC is keeping quite, he said.

Mwaanga said there is a lot of intolerance for lawyers in the region, and that when the Law Society of Zambia issued a statement on their position, President Edgar Lungu said they should go and form a political party.

He stated that this silence has the potential to relegate SADC to an ineffective bloc and therefore, creating a gap that will be filled by outsiders.

He said there is need for governments

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to engage in dialogue with law societies in the region to enhance accountability, transparency and trust.

“We should strengthen the regional law societies in SADC to make it an example to other regional blocs and in the world.”

Meanwhile, Justice Key Dingake of the Botswana High Court said that laws should be clear and updated if good governance and the rule of law are to be achieved in the SADC region.

He said that an independent judiciary and commitment to human rights are non-negotiable and should be practised by any democratic government.

He concurred that a Constitution of any country should involve the people, who should then make inputs on how they want to be governed.

He said whilst he appreciates that a couple of Constitutions in the region were formulated in partnership with the people, he cannot say the same about the Constitution of Botswana.

 “The Constitution must reflect the aspirations of the people, how they want their country to be governed. Botswana people were not party to the drafting of their Constitution.”

Dingake said the judiciary should be independent and commended the Law Society of Botswana for advocating for that.

The conference, which attracted lawyers from the SADC region, was held under the theme ‘A skilled and Competent Legal Profession: Catalyst for a Prosperous SADC’.

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