By Afrikan Teecher
TAFATAONA Mahoso should not think his drivel in the Sunday Mail about lawyers, the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the so-called white law firms wi
ll go without correction, “LSZ leadership supports, mimics Western sponsors”, (Sunday Mail, August 20).
Who is Tafataona Mahoso, anyway? Where was he when the so-called white law firms were at the frontline during colonial Rhodesia fighting legal battles in the courts in defence of African nationalists and their cause?
Can someone pass on to the good “doctor“ a few Rhodesian law reports?
He will see for himself who defended Daniel Madzimbamuto in the famous constitutional case. Who fought in the oppressive Rhodesian courts in defence of most of the African nationalists of that time — Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe, Jason Moyo, Maurice Nyagumbo, etc?
Where did the respected and eminent lawyer Professor Walter Kamba do his articles? Indeed where did the current Minister of Justice, Patrick Chinamasa, start off as a lawyer?
Has Mahoso not read about eminent jurists who risked life and limb and ostracism from the white community in defence of freedom?
Fergus Blackie, Anthony Gubbay, Michael May and Nicholas McNally are some of the most prominent lawyers who make up the list.
Who defended Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku in their legal troubles with the present government soon after Independence?
Weren’t these barristers from the so-called white law firms that are now so abhorrent to latter-day nationalists like the good “doctor”: Lazarus & Sariff, Scanlen & Holderness, Webb, Low & Barry, among others?
Can Mahoso ask Didymus Mutasa who his lawyers were before and after Independence? Indeed can he ask the chefs in government, the CIO and the police who their lawyers are? Who acts for Zimra, Zesa and the NRZ?
When real men were fighting, wasn’t the good “doctor” somewhere far away from the frontline? He came back home after Independence but was surprised to find another war of liberation in progress. A war for freedom. Only this time it was the former freedom fighter turned against the people.
The former freedom fighter had become more oppressive than him who he had deposed. The good “doctor” was confused. He is still confused. His irrelevant education can’t help him see the issues. He can’t see anything beyond a black face and a white one. He was so traumatised by white colonialism that he brands everybody who so much as questions his master’s excesses an Uncle Tom. To him everything is explained in terms of black or white.
The lawyer will continue to fight until real freedom is won. The lawyer will fight the new enemy anywhere, everywhere: in court, church, the media, politics, at the growth point, in the supermarket, at the police roadblock, prison, everywhere.
He will not be distracted by an irrelevant and moribund group of obscurantists that must of necessity sing loudest for their supper.
The lawyer will attack the unjust laws whenever they are promulgated. He will not be fooled by high-sounding but meaningless economic turnaround gimmicks that, demonstrably, are designed to divert attention from the maladroit policies of the new dispensation.
The lawyer will fight the abuse of human rights. He will defend property rights. He will fight to restore the rule of law. He will agitate for a new constitution. He will attack barbaric mutilations of the constitution like the 17th Amendment. He will resist abuse of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act.
He will not rest until Satanic laws like the Public Order and Security Act are scrapped from the statute books. The lawyer will refuse to listen to the whining of resurrected Stone Age dinosaurs that are well past their sell-by date.
The good “doctor’s” semi-lucid article was quite vicious. Some of the best legal brains in Zimbabwe and the continent found themselves under sustained attack without provocation.
* Afrikan Teecher writes from Harare.