Opposition lawyers seen dumping principle for Zanu PF money
By Nkosana Dlamini
OPPOSITION politicians who are into legal practice have been forced to set aside their political differences with Zanu PF opponents in order to reap rich financial rewards offered by their bitter rivals facing corruption charges.
Since Zanu PF’s factional wars intensified 2015, top politicians from MDC, PDP and NCA are now forced to shuttle between their political offices which often sees them slate rivals for corruption, and law chambers to defend the same culprits.
MDC-T Job Sikhala (pictured) has been hired by former Foreign Affairs Minister Walter Mzembi while NCA leader Lovemore Madhuku is former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo’s attorney.
The embattled former President Robert Mugabe allies have been caught in the current anti-corruption dragnet.
Madhuku has also defended Temba Mliswa who was fighting to keep his Hurungwe West seat when he was axed as Zanu PF MP and Mashonaland West chair.
MDC-T Deputy President Nelson Chamisa has also been lawyer to youth empowerment lobbyist Acie Lumumba while party secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has had occasion to defend former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.
PDP President Tendai Biti also represented one time nemesis and ex-RBZ governor Gideon Gono when the latter’s former advisor Munyaradzi Kereke was trying to pin corruption allegations on him.
Biti is famous for saying Gono should be put to a firing squad for corruption.
Similarly, MDC President Welshman Ncube has been hired by former state Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko in a case in which the latter is fighting for his dues as former VP.
However, opposition politicians enjoying spills flying from Zanu PF factionalism have been quick to distance their political lives from their professions.
“There is no conflict at all; a lawyer is actually duty and ethically bound to represent anyone who requires justice,” Biti once remarked to the media.
“It has nothing to do with money, even (Adolf) Hitler was entitled to representation, Judas Iscariot was entitled to representation.
“We are like doctors who are supposed to treat anyone regardless of where they come from.”
Mwonzora, has also denied any conflict of interest saying “these unpopular people deserve justice as well”.
Former Attorney General and practising lawyer Sobusa Gula-Ndebele once defended opposition politicians from any ethical breaches saying “lawyers represent everyone. There is no conflict at all”.
Gono has also praised Biti for his services while speaking to the State media; “I felt victory was going to be sweeter if an opposition man stood to defend me, rather than a known Zanu PF functionary as this could draw scepticism from people who are in the habit of seeing our judicial system as politically compromised.”