Windhoek-The Law Society of Namibia (LSN) has expressed its solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe and its colleagues throughout the Zimbabwean legal profession amidst the turbulence in the country, underlined by calls for President Robert Mugabe to resign.
This follows a huge demonstration involving hundreds of thousands of people in Harare on Saturday demanding the long-time president should cede power.
The call for Mugabe to step down resonated with hundreds of Zimbabwean traders and expatriates in Namibia, who over the weekend made similar demands to their embassy in Windhoek.
LSN is a self-regulating body created in terms of the Legal Practitioners’ Act (1995), which serves the Namibian public and legal profession by promoting justice, protecting the independence of the judiciary and upholding the rule of law.
LSN Director Retha Steinmann said the organisation fully supported the position of the Law Society of Zimbabwe as published, and said: “The Law Society of Zimbabwe has taken note of the current developments in the country.”
“It particularly notes the assurances of peace and calm given by those behind the recent events. The Law Society of Zimbabwe also takes heart at the assurance that Constitutional order will be respected and restored,” she said.
She added the Law Society of Zimbabwe is committed to justice and the rule of law, thus she encouraged by the undertaking not to interfere with the independence of the judiciary.
She is hopeful that in everything to follow the constitution will be respected and due process will be observed for all actions to be taken.
“We further call for a quick return to Constitutional order. We call upon fellow citizens to respect peace, individual rights and in particular property rights and individual security,” she appealed.
Meanwhile, the SADC Lawyers Association said it had also learnt with cautious trepidation of the unfolding situation in Zimbabwe.
The SADC-Lawyers Association also joined the SADC community of nations in calling for continued calm and restraint that had so far largely characterised the events in that country.
In a press statement, the SADC-LA stated that as the mother body of the legal profession in the SADC region, it reminded all nations of the need to uphold the rule of law and constitutionalism in the bid to resolve the political dispute in Zimbabwe.
“The rule of law is the cornerstone of the separation of powers and the bedrock for democracy and development that ought not to be compromised. It is further noted that short of the constitutionally stipulated path to democracy, any efforts towards resolution risk a stillbirth on all counts.
“As close regional observation continues in relation to the on-going situation, SADC-LA emphasises the urgent need for the expeditious return to normalcy and preservation of fundamental rights and freedoms,’ the SADC lawyers stated.
To this end SADC-LA also calls upon all SADC member states to rally their support behind Zimbabwe in this time of uncertainty and as the nation strives to obtain a durable solution to the immediate political challenges.
SADC-LA is dedicated to the advancement and promotion of human rights, the rule of law, democracy and good governance in the SADC Region and beyond. Our mission is to promote and defend the rule of law without fear or favour.