Christopher Mundia put to rest as Fr Chilinda urges honesty among lawyers

13 October 2019
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LUSAKA, Zambia.

PROMINENT lawyer Christopher Mundia was on Tuesday, 8th October 2019 put to rest with a call on lawyers to be honest, just and compassionate.

Mundia who once served as Law Association of Zambia president died aged 79 on Friday 4th October 2019, leaving behind a wife, 11 children and 28 grandchildren.

Speaking during the funeral mass at Lusaka's St Ignatius Parish yesterday, Father Charles Chilinda said there was more to life than the glamour of the profession and wealth.

Scores of mourners, including former president Rupiah Banda, former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, Socialist Party president Dr Fred M’membe and former information minister Chishimba Kambwili turned up to pay their last respects to Mundia.

Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Eddie Mwitwa and solicitor general Abraham Mwansa led lawyers to the funeral mass which was also attended by former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito.

Fr Chilinda said pride and arrogance were the biggest temptations of lawyers.

As he delivered the homily, Fr Chilinda told mourners that Catholic lawyers and politicians had greatly misrepresented the church with their actions.

Fr Chilinda said as Mundia died last Friday, he told his wife that he was going to heaven.

“I am told that when he was dying, Christopher Mundia told his wife that he was going to heaven. Now, I ask you how many of you lawyers in here can raise your hands and say you are going to heaven,” Fr Chilinda asked and received laughter from the congregation in response.

He urged lawyers to pluck a leaf of honesty, integrity and justice with which Mundia practised the law.

The clergyman said lawyers could never be poor by doing the correct things because their fees were high.

“Pride and arrogance is a lawyer’s biggest temptation. You know it all! You know how to bend the law, you know how to trick the judge,” Fr Chilinda observed.

He said lawyers became famous because they could represent and help criminals get away with their crimes.

He advised lawyers to practice law with honesty, justice and compassion.

Fr Chilinda said no matter what one had, even if they were the Republican President, they were bound to lose if they did not realise that they were just a creation.

Fr Chilinda added that lawyers must stand up for something that enabled them to behave and act in a way that benefitted humanity.

He said all human beings had a huge potential to love.

“But we choose to hate, we choose not to be kind [and] we choose confusion instead of harmony,” Fr Chilinda regretted.

“But some of you who are lawyers and politicians in our church are not representing us well.”

In his tribute, Christopher Mundia Jnr described his father as a man of integrity who cared for his family and humanity, in general.

After the requiem, Dr M’membe described Mundia as a man of integrity; a highly principled man.

He noted that Mundia was a loyal person to those he was committed to, “his friends and relatives.”

“I remember in the early 90s after Dr Kaunda was out of power, he remained very close to Dr Kaunda. I attended some meetings with him where Dr Kaunda was seeking his help, even at his house, late in the night,” Dr M’membe said, adding that Mundia paid a lot of attention to his legal practice.

“He was a man who was willing to help others – he threw himself into many causes. He was one of the lawyers who highly practised pro-bono. He had many cases that he was not paid for, especially on public causes.”

Asked what junior lawyers could learn from Mundia, Dr M’membe responded: “humility, hard-work, selflessness, honesty.”

Earlier, during the combined valedictory ceremony at the Supreme Court, several prominent lawyers, judges and others attended Mundia valedictory service before his body was moved to St Ignatius Catholic Church for a requiem mass.

At the Supreme Court, Justice Irene Mambilima described Mundia as an eminent lawyer who contributed immensely to the country’s jurisprudence.

Justice Mambilima added that Mundia was an articulate lawyer who believed in defending the interest of his clients and that of the judiciary.

She said Mundia was a gallant legal practitioner of high calibre and a pillar of the legal profession in Zambia.

At the same venue, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka described Mundia as a friendly State Counsel who related well with everyone in society, with a desire to seek justice for all.

Kalaluka said Mundia was held in high esteem by the legal fraternity in Zambia as his life was full of vigour and diligence.

LAZ president Mwitwa said Mundia would be greatly missed in the profession as he was a gem of the legal profession.

Meanwhile, at St Ignatius Parish, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson judge Esau Chulu told The Mast that he would miss.

“I knew State Counsel Mundia in the 70s at law school and at some point, he appealed before me when I was a High Court judge. In court he articulated himself very well,” said judge Chulu.

“[He was a] very intelligent lawyer and highly skilled. He prepared his cases very well.”

SOURCE: Kalemba News

(Pictures by Salim Dawood and Story by Melony Chisanga)

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