Major lawyers who have been representing the United Party For National Development (UPND) in several high profile cases have made the decision to stand down from their representation of the party following allegations of non-payment of fees and financial misconduct.
According to a party insider, lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri have stopped representing the UPND over disagreements stemming from the role of Party Chairperson for Legal Affairs Jack Mwiimbu, who is also Monze Central Member of Parliament.
The source indicates that funds that were destined to cover legal fees paid toward both Mweemba and Phiri had allegedly been misappropriating by Mwiimbu, while complaints to party leadership over this fraud were ignored.
The source says this has led to several other UPND members being represented by junior lawyers that include Mulambo Haimbe, Sevyanji Sinkali and Cornelius Mweetwa, the Choma Central MP who was recently admitted to the Bar.
When asked why the 15 UPND members who were recently charged with unlawful assembly in Petauke were being represented by Cornelius Mweetwa, the UPND insider said both Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri say they are owed huge sums of money.
“Keith and Gilbert have refused. They say Mwiimbu steals their money which party officials contribute towards legal bills. That is why most of these people are now being represented by Mwiimbu’s law firm called Muleza and Mwiimbu Associates.”
The source continues: “Both Zevyanji and Cornelius are from Muleza and Mwiimbu Associates” the source said.
The source said Mulambo Haimbe from Vincent Malambo and Company is also just representing UPND on matters that strictkly concern Party President Hakainde Hichilema, while refusing all other requests for representation by the party.
Source: Zambia Reports