THE rabid attack by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba on the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) once again shows the government’s intolerance to alternative views and rule of law.
He claimed that some white-run law firms affiliated to LSZ were being used as conduits to channel money to opposition parties as part of the West’s regime change agenda.
Charamba, on Twitter, threatened to unleash security agents against the law firms in question and the lawyers’ body.
“Why does this racially fastidious auditor of professional conduct of lawyers so wilfully blind to this yelling anomaly which has persisted for decades? Shouldn’t Zacc (Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission) move in to ask basic questions to both the society and the firm in question? Or higher bodies, now that State security is involved?” he tweeted ominously
“We have mechanisms for detecting such subterfuges. What I can’t suffer or countenance is a statutory body purporting to represent officers of the court turning the same members who make it up — or should — into vicarious subversives,” he said
Charamba’s invective against the lawyers was prompted by their challenge of Constitutional Amendments (No 1) and (No 2) Acts.
The tirade by Charamba with deadly undertones is in stark contrast to Mnangagwa’s incessant claim that his government champions democracy and rule of law.
It is shameful that at a time when the government brands itself as the new dispensation, we still witness such blatant threats against officers of the law by senior government officials.
That this comes a few weeks after Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi shockingly accused some of the country’s judges of taking orders from hostile foreign nations to pass judgments against government points to a Judiciary under attack from a paranoiac and vindictive government.
The attack on the legal fraternity is reminiscent of the era of the late former President Robert Mugabe when then Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay was hounded out of office in 2001 as the rule of the jungle took centre stage.
Mnangagwa’s government has, since it grabbed power in November 2017, been on a drive to re-engage Western countries and end the country’s more than two decades of isolation. However, with the continued assault on the Judiciary and the legal fraternity, the administration’s ambition to rejoin the family of nations will remain a pipe-dream.