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Biti and Job Sikhala to be struck off the roll?

25 Jun 2020 at 23:05hrs | Views
Zimbabwean politics has always been full of mystery. Politicians are normally identified by their getting into public office. There are a lot of politicians fine politicians who had never ran for an office. However politicians usually get paid from politics. Few politicians take up separate jobs inorder to supplement the salaries. This is normally done to avoid the conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is when a party has competing interests or loyalties because of their duties to more than one person or organization. A person with a conflict of interest can't do justice to the actual or potentially conflicting interests of both parties.

Zimbabwean politicians besides running businesses of their own they engage in some jobs. The most culprits in engaging in other jobs are lawyers who become politicians. Following the 'cash for questions' scandals during the John Major Government, in United Kingdom parliamentary rules were tightened, to ban direct lobbying or advocacy for reward. Which means MPs in the U.K. can no longer engage in some jobs and remains MPs. So as in Zimbabwe, the role of an MP is changing, arguably making it less compatible with the additional responsibilities of a second job. There is more emphasis on providing a fast, responsive constituency service. It is high time that Zimbabwe must have reforms in the work of MPs. I

The reforms of the parliamentary working week must mean that MPs could still meet their scrutiny and legislative commitments by arriving on a Monday evening and leaving Parliament on a Thursday afternoon.

Zimbabwe has also seen changes in the professional background of MPs, with increasing numbers having been teachers, lawyers ministerial special advisers or think-tank policymakers before running for elected office.

To be an MP is a full time job and no one should be allowed to pick up a second job. The MPs and some politicians have jobs which directly contrast their political positions. Their jobs cause serious conflict of interest which is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, and serving one interest could involve working against another. Typically, this relates to situations in which the personal interest of an individual or organization might adversely affect a duty owed to make decisions for the benefit of a third party.

An "interest" is a commitment, obligation, duty or goal associated with a particular social role or practice.By definition, a "conflict of interest" occurs if, within a particular decision-making context, an individual is subject to two coexisting interests that are in direct conflict with each other. Such a matter is of importance because under such circumstances the decision-making process can be disrupted or compromised in a manner that affects the integrity or the reliability of the outcomes.

There are many Members of Parliament who are lawyers and practicing lawyers. If this lawyer appears before a court and loses his case it becomes very difficult to tell whether the person has lost because of his or her political inclination. In most cases MDC members who are prominent lawyers always soil the integrity of the legal profession by mixing up law and politics.

In ZANU PF those who became MPs never contiued practising like cde Chinamasa cde Mangwana snd a lot more.

Also we have Advocate Matinenga stopped practising wen he became a senator but went back after leaving the political offce.Advocate Thabani Mpofu in 2018 announced on TV that any result against his client was unaaceptable.Surely how can a lawyer say so we do rsspect him ss a good lawyer but such statemnts from a lawyer shows the important of lawyers to stop identifying with their cases. Lawyers naturally have a lot of influence in society and whatever they say is likely to influence a lot of people. There is therefore need to be responsible in their conduct otherwise can cause chaos

Can a legal practitioner be a Member of Parliament and be paid an allowance? An Indian court In Satish Kumar Sharma v Bar Council of H.P.4, the Court made the following remarks, "The profession of law is called a noble profession. It does not remain noble merely by calling it as such, unless there is a continued, corresponding and expected performance of a noble proffession Its nobility has to be preserved, protected and promoted. An institution cannot survive on its name or on its past glory alone. The glory and greatness of an institution depends on its continued and meaningful performance with grace and dignity. The profession of law being noble and an honourable one, it has to continue its meaningful, useful and purposeful performance inspired by and keeping in view the high and rich traditions consistent with its grace, dignity, utility and prestige. Hence the provisions of the Act and the Rules made thereunder inter alia aimed to achieve the same ought to be given e"ect to in their true letter and spirit to maintain clean and efficient Bar in the country to serve the cause of justice which again is a nibble one"

Typically, a conflict of interest arises when an individual finds himself or herself occupying two social roles simultaneously which generate opposing benefits or loyalties. The interests involved can be pecuniary or non-pecuniary. The existence of such conflicts is an objective fact, not a state of mind, and does not in itself indicate any lapse or moral error. However, especially where a decision is being taken in a fiduciary context, it is important that the contending interests be clearly identified and the process for separating them is rigorously established.

Typically, this will involve the conflicted individual either giving up one of the conflicting roles or else recusing himself or herself from the particular decision-making process that is in question.

The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of the occurrence of Inappropriateness. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs. A conflict of interest exists if the circumstances are reasonably believed (on the basis of past experience and objective evidence) to create a risk that a decision may be unduly influenced by other, secondary interests, and not on whether a particular individual is actually influenced by a secondary interest. In cases where a lawyer loses his case which involved members of his party it becomes confusing when the same losing lawyer decides to give a press statement. In most cases the statement becomes one sided and borders on the lines contempt. A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest. Most lawyers who are in the forefront of politics have sold their souls. Their first goal should be upholding the law and being fairness. Every lawyers duty is to the law and court in particular So in this case Primary interest refers to the principal goals of the profession or activity, such as the protection of clients, the health of patients, the integrity of research, and the duties of public officer. In our current political climate lawyers manipulate the law to appease their political demons. Professionalism is thrown out of the window and the law as we know it is being ridiculed. Lawyers in politics have put their secondary interest mt ahead of what they are sworn to do. Secondary interest includes personal benefit and is not limited to only financial gain but also such motives as the desire for political advancement, or the wish to do favours for political party members or colleagues. These secondary interests are not treated as wrong in and of themselves, but become objectionable when they are believed to have greater weight than the primary interests.

Legislative supremacy by the legislature is exercised through the passing of bills. ... A bill becomes an act once it has been presented and passed in both Houses of Parliament and assented to and signed by the President. The lawyers who practice both law and politics are guilty of the abuse of law the purport to be fighting. They become legislators and enforcers. There is no separation of powers in this case and the picture shown is that of the feudal era.

It is hypocritical for such lawyers to claim to be democrats when they are legislating enforcing and everything. There is no division at all and as long as they are the main actors in the process they see no problem.

To be very specific the MDC A spokesperson is a lawyer she gives a press conference of a case she is appearing as counsel. Is there a clear line between legal work or political spin. In several instances Mr Tendai Biti appears in court representing MDC A and he is out there giving a press statement. While this behaviour stinks it clearly contradicts the democratic tights Biti claims to be fighting for.

The law society should review their laws. Lawyers who chose politics must not be allowed to appear in court as the mirage becomes too blinding.

Contrary to some political pronouncements by some political parties that they do not want to be associated with the Government, most MPs are prepared to listen to advice from the generality of the Zimbabwean people wherever they may be earning a living. What opposition MPs and all MPs for that matter should understand is that, by being paid by the tax payer, they are actually civil servants in another sense. Therefore they should not be allowed to engage in another private job which compromises the integrity of their political and legal astutes.

While they work with the government of the day yet they attack the same judicial system they belong to.As a registered legal practitioner the rules which governs the lawyers should govern them even though they are MPs. So to avoid compromising their positions as lawyers they must not be allowed near courts unless they are witnesses or accused persons.

As long as an MP swears to uphold the dignity of Parliament and the Constitution and is paid by the state, there is no way that MP should be allowed to practice law during his tenure as an MP.

This may be in form of building schools, boreholes, bridges, or distribution of food and inputs for agriculture. It will be the responsibility of every MP to make sure that the people in that constituency are well represented and that the programmes initiated by Government are well understood by the people.

The MP is a representative of the State not the party that they belong to and the same cannot be allowed to act as lawyers at law. As long as an MP takes the oath of allegiance to Zimbabwe, he or she has to work with Government in office.

Lawyers who are in politics particularly the opposition MPs find it very easy to work with foreign governments but find it difficult to work with their own government. While the law is not clear on lawyers practicing while they are MPs it should be reasonable to refrain from practicing.

There are a lot of crimes committed at law by the Lawyering MPs. There is no way the word crime can exist in the same sentence without Job Sikhala. There is no reasonable definition of treason without Tendai Biti in the definition.

It comes with no surprise that the MDC A fail to align with the law yet half of their executives are lawyers. They are personally involved and reason do escape them. It is time now for Parliament to come up with stringent rules that will not tolerate any MP whose second job compromise the integrity of the state, the law and parliament. While being a lawyer is a noble job but a lawyer with brains tainted by partisan politics is like giving a loaded gun to a lunatic.

Political machinations have no room in Court. Every MP has a great responsibility entrusted on his or her shoulders to support the lawful decisions of the majority in Parliament. One cannot swear to uphold the tenets of Government institutions and then act otherwise. There have been loose statements made about the judiciary, another arm of the state for political reasons. These statements are made by the lawyers who got messed up in their mind. They have lost their professional identity as shoot everywhere with a double barrelled gun.

Surely, Zimbabwean judicial system cannot be a circus where all and sundry can say whatever they want and claim to be exercising their democratic right. It is actually undermining the judiciary and its institutions. There must be no difference between a lawyer in politics and a lawyer at work.

Any political disagreements shall only be exercised in politics and not in court. A number of functions and roles can be derived or are derivatives of the broad mandate of 'making laws for peace, order and good governance of Zimbabwe'. The most prominent role of parliament is the legislative function. So the lawyers in Politics must be able to draw a line.

To maintain the public trust in the judiciary system those lawyers with big mouths like Biti and Sikhala should stay away from our courts. But if the love of law overcame them so they need to stay away from the press. One day they will put their professionalism if they still have it on the political cross.

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Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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