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Coltart's plot on judiciary outed?

by Staff reporter
28 Jan 2019 at 10:32hrs | Views
A plot by some shadowy non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to rope in Harare-based lawyers to attack the judiciary through a demonstration today has been exposed.

The Herald understands that the demonstration by lawyers is a political manouvre to abet the cause of the opposition MDC-Alliance, and follows the violent protests that the party and its civil society partners embarked on a fortnight ago.

The demonstrations, under the dubious nomenclature of "shutdown", saw millions worth of property being destroyed while six people — including a police officer — lose lives. Government institutions were also attacked. Over a thousand people have been arrested for playing a part in the carnage.

And the sponsored demonstration by the lawyers is meant to attack the judiciary for bringing the culprits to book.

Additionally, The Herald understands that there is an attempt to capture the Law Society of Zimbabwe and rope in the organisation in its attempts to besmirch the reputation of the judiciary. LSZ  holds its extraordinary General meeting later on today. Our sources indicated yesterday that at the centre of coordinating the demonstration is one Douglas Coltart, son of former MDC-T Member of Parliament and Minister of Education, Sport, Art and Culture David Coltart.

The younger Coltart, who has previously been at the centre of a motley of anti-Government demonstrations by citizens and civil servants, is said to be mobilising Harare lawyers through various social media platforms, particularly Whatsapp and Telegram. He is using cellphone number 0778956776 to coordinate the social media groups.

"Coltart has mobilised lawyers, with per diems and allowances for the marching lawyers being supplied by a Harare-based NGO (name withheld)," the sources highlighted.

"The proposed demonstration against the judiciary is to protest the fast tracking of trials, alleged mass trials, denial of bail to mass rioters who looted shops and burnt Makoni Police Station amongst others," it was further highlighted.

According to the source, the proposed march has divided opinion amongst lawyers and within the corridors of the Law Society of Zimbabwe because of the toxic messaging on the banners that other lawyers believe might create enmity between lawyers and the judiciary.

Other lawyers believe that the march is an attempt to use them to pressurise the judiciary into granting Evan Mawarire, whose bail appeal is to be heard tomorrow at the High Court.

"Some of the banners which have already been prepared have the following messages: 'Courts Are Not Open for Corruption', 'The Magistracy is a captured institution', 'No to magisterial instructions' amongst other messages which cast aspersions on the independence of the judiciary," the source said.

Some lawyers who are part of the plot have reportedly proposed that lawyers clog the courts with appeals and reviews as a way of frustrating magistrates and judges. A prominent Harare lawyer who requested anonymity noted that it was ironic that members of a profession whose mantra is often "justice delayed is justice denied" would be aggrieved by the speedy disposal of criminal matters and improved efficiency by the judiciary. He further noted that the plot to clog the courts with appeals and reviews smacks of abuse of court processes which is generally regarded as unethical in the legal profession. When contacted for comment, Mr Coltart all but confirmed the demonstration on the back of alleged unhappiness of lawyers but said he was not mobilising them.

"I am not mobilising anyone," he said.

"I think lawyers, certainly, are extremely frustrated about the current abuse of the judiciary processes but I think that would be on the agenda of the Law Society meeting tommorow," he said.

The NGO-funded attack on the judiciary comes against the backdrop of ongoing concerted efforts to demonise the Zimbabwean Government while turning a blind eye to the violence and wanton destruction of property during riots organised and funded by rogue NGOs between 14 and 16 January 2019.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and Tajamuka were heavily involved in the mobilising of people to participate in the violent protests characterised by arson and indiscriminate looting.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights, among other Western-funded outfits, have been also linked to the larger plot to unseat the constitutional order.

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Source - the herald