COURT CORNERS FAKE LAWYER, SHUTS HIS FIRM
By Dickson Jere
Killian Mwiinga is no stranger to the Zambian Courts. This time around he took out an action in the High Court on behalf of his “client” whom he was representing under the guise of “Power of Attorney”. But then he is not a qualified lawyer!
He stylishly appeared before the High Court Judge with his client even when there was an objection that he was not lawyer to represent a client. He argued that it would be injustice to his “client” if he was stopped from representing him in Court as his agent. While this case was on, it was discovered that Mwiinga also appeared in two other cases acting for his “clients”.
The Judge In-Charge at Lusaka Charles Zulu heard the matter and took time to underscore the rationale behind the law that allows qualified lawyers to take up matters in court on behalf of their clients.
“It is plain and ubiquitous that Killian Mwiinga is one of the busy bodies abusing our court processes for a living, through the illegal use of power of attorney to use in his name on behalf of ‘absentee litigants’”, the Judge observed.
“There is no room for compromise, especially where there is conscious abuse of court process by unqualified persons pretending to be advocates, or indirectly practicing law,” the judge added.
The Court stated that only those who have studied law and passed the Bar Exams (ZIALE) with a practicing certificate can appear before the courts on behalf of clients.
“The Court cannot play possum to imposters preying on suspecting litigants or colluding with potential litigants to circumvent the prohibition and restrictions under the Legal Practitioners Act,” the Judge said.
He then dismissed the matter commenced by Mwiinga for being an abuse of court process and ordered that the fake lawyer should his illegal law firm should be closed forthwith.
“And to strongly admonish the perpetrator to immediately shut down his illegal chambers,” the Judge ordered, and asked the client to commence fresh action in his name.
“If the courts were to allow the status quo to prevail, the results would be similar to the disorder and anarchy of allowing unqualified persons or misguided busy bodies to carry out clinical operations and procedures in hospitals and clinics, based on some rudimentary knowledge,” the Judge opined.
Case citation – Killian Mwiinga v Emmanuel Chama and Others – 2023/HP/0505. Ruling delivered yesterday 20th November, 2023.
This is very important case as it deals with the escalating problem that has engulfed the law profession by importers who have set up illegal firms. They take money from unsuspecting litigants under the guise of “Power of Attorney” and yet they act as lawyers.
Mwiinga will be luck if he does not get caught by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) special committee recently appointed to deal with this scourge by way of prosecution. Law schools are still open for those who want to be lawyers!