Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Chamisa engages Zanu PF lawyers, is it democracy

27 Aug 2019 at 06:28hrs | Views
Most Zimbabweans are perplexed by the lawyers who represent members of the opposition either side. Most people have been dismayed when members of the opposite side represent those of the other side. ZANU PF youth league made it their business when Jonathan Samkange represented Saviour Kasukuwere and the loud mouthed Job Sikhala got a tongue-lashing for representing ZANU PF members who are being charged of corruption. Street pastors made it their divine right to castigate those who represent members of the opposite side.

It is understood when members of the public get mixed up. This is because as far as they are concerned a lawyer is bought and not he offers his services. In that mind which is lost they see any accused person as owning his own lawyer. In their public minds lawyers must have the same belief as of their clients. This is ignorance at its best.

Lawyers are independent beings who only represent the interest of their clients regardless of what the lawyers subscribe to. A lawyer representing a thief is not a thief so as the lawyer representing gays is not gay.  Lawyers are the mirage of the rule of law.  There can be no rule of law without independent justice. Moreover, there is no rule of law without an independent legal profession.

A state in which rule of law prevails can only exist due to the existence of an independent judiciary and independent advocacy independent from each other. A judge, prosecutor and lawyer each of them is responsible for their actions, but together they are responsible for the quality of justice based on the principle of "triple responsibility. Justice has no colour it has not political belief or political divide. Justice is deserved by everybody.

Lawyers should be able to perform their professional duties freely and independently, without external pressure or fear of reprisal. Even if their work does not suit the government or social elite. In practice, however, many lawyers are threatened or harassed for simply doing their job. It is the duty of every Zimbabwean to supports lawyers around the country who face reprisals or improper interferences because of their work.

This then brings us to the question what is a lawyer. A lawyer is not a commodity which can be bought. Lawyers are human but must divorce their emotions from the cases they will be doing.

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Zimbabwe is a society based on the rule of law, and that means that lawyers are accorded a certain social status, but in return also bear tremendous responsibilities. The job duties of attorneys vary dramatically based on the area of law they practice in, but regardless of their specialty, all lawyers have ethical responsibilities to their clients and to society as a whole.

Ethical Duties
Codes of ethics for lawyers are promulgated by the LAW SOCIETY OF ZIMBABWE and tend to be very similar in their key tenets. One important point is that lawyers have a duty to make sure that everyone has access to a competent lawyer. A second key ethical consideration is to respect the law and maintain professional standards at all times, and to report violations by other lawyers to the proper authorities. Another important point in a legal code of ethics is the duty of a lawyer to not disclose any information about a client except as required by law, commonly known as the attorney-client privilege.

The job of a lawyer who prosecutes is to represent the state and work to convict those charged with crimes. The job of a criminal defense attorney is to defend those who have been charged with crimes. But despite their diametrically opposed roles, prosecutors and defense attorneys have similar job descriptions. They both have a duty to carefully examine the facts of the case and decide what evidence to present and how to best present it to convince a judge or magistrate. Furthermore, a defense attorney has a duty to present the best possible defense for a client regardless of her personal beliefs about the client's guilt or innocence in the institution of Advocacy and judicial power are closely connected by their constitutional nature and socio-legal content. The constitutional right to professional legal assistance rightly refers to the basic constitutional guarantees of the right to access to justice, which, in its turn, is an integral part of the right to judicial protection the latter's effectiveness is also largely stipulated by the level of legal aid provided by lawyers. the right to help from a professional lawyer is one of the procedural safeguards that promote a fair trial. Justice emphasises  the role and significance of this human rights' protection institution and defining its role and place as an adjacent legal institution that acts in the mechanism of legal proceedings, along with other institutions. in the strategy for reforming of the Judiciary, Legal Proceedings and related Legal institutions the bar and the judiciary are recognized as equal and adjacent institutions promoting the activity of the judiciary.

So in all circumstances a prosecutor and a magistrate are all doing an equally important job which is to serve justice in the plate of social justice.

The outrage expressed by those who do not agree with the notion of a lawyer representing a member of the opposition is totally misplaced.  Every Zimbabwean is innocent until proven guilty. This maxim is true to its word if we are to boast of Rule of Law.
Castigating lawyers for representing those of the descending views is seriously myopic and embarrassing.

The ignorance exhibited by those who complain  is beyond measure.

The  reasoning behind such a belief is unbelievable. It is like saying MDC members must not be served food in a ZANU PF restaurant.  This belief is inhuman.

Lawyers do not share the same belief with their clients. A lawyer who represents terrorist is not a terrorist himself.

The stigma cultivated by the detractors is very high and disturbing.  
Vilifying lawyers to do what they took oath for is diabolic.
It actually exposes the good lawyers and is done in the spirit of hate.
It is the lunacy of the lack of understanding of those who label lawyers as members of one group or the other.
Lawyers should be understood and   Be given a chance to represent without fear or favour.
There is nothing wrong for lawyers to represent the members of any opposition party.
Some fake prophets  have been given a lift in proper-gating their stories.


Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.