By Mutsa Makuvaza
MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala, who is also a lawyer, has expressed anger that Professor Lovemore Madhuku went on to represent MDC Alliance activist Makomborero Haruzivishe in court yesterday.
Madhuku, who leads the National Constitutional Assembly political outfit, yesterday secured bail for Haruzivishe who has been in jail since April. However, since Haruzivishe was serving sentence on three concurrent cases, he remains in jail as the kidnapping sentence still subsists.
Sikhala says Madhuku bulldozed his way into representing Haruzivishe, saying Haruzivishe had his own lawyers seconded by the party.
“Makomborero had his lawyers. You don’t grab a job from a fellow legal practitioner. It’s anathema in the legal profession,” Sikhala said yesterday, hours after Madhuku secured bail for Haruzivishe.
Sikhala further revealed that Haruzivishe was initially being represented by two prominent lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), but he somehow subsequently replaced them with Madhuku along the way.
“Mako was arrested when I was in prison. I did spend four weeks in prison with him. He had his lawyers and I had mine. We were all fighting for our freedom.
“Obey Shava and Cossam Ncube were his lawyers and I would not have come out of prison and say ndini ndave lawyer raMako (I’m now representing Makomborero),” Sikhala said.
However, what triggered Madhuku to get involved in Haruzivishe’s case was a plea by one Jairos Majaira who on 5 June asked Madhuku to intervene in the case. Majaira offered Madhuku to name his price for the job and he would make sure the money is paid.
In response to that request, Madhuku said he was available to help on the case but would work pro bono (for free).
“I am very much willing and available to work with Makomborero Haruzivishe”s lawyers pro bono (for no payment). I do not charge fees in such cases. Just give me the details of his lawyers, if you have them,” Madhuku said.
Days later, Madhuku came under attacks from top MDC Alliance officials including Tendai Biti, Job Sikhala and Pedzisayi Ruhanya who accused him of “lacking principle” by seeking to represent clients whose political ideologies are at variance with Madhuku’s pro-POLAD ideals.
Madhuku stood his ground, saying as an experienced lawyer he only maintains only a professional relationship with clients and would represent people from any political persuasion without any problems.
“Lawyers have a clear conscience: they stay clear of any personal attachment with a client’s cause. They maintain a professional relationship with their clients. By professional I mean the battle to convince a court that the law as it is, supports their client,” said Madhuku.
“With respect, you appear to be overlooking the following: a lawyer does not create causes of action for clients and a lawyer is not to be identified with the cause of his/her clients. Outside legal practice, I am a person called Lovemore Madhuku.”
The MDC Alliance also accused Madhuku of representing an “evil regime” in some past cases, referring to incidents when Madhuku provided legal services to the rival MDC-T camp as well as to Government.
“My clients are not a regime, they are ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe. Nor are they “evil” in any sense. Access to the courts is a fundamental right for every person regardless of a person’s political opinions or political affiliation. As a lawyer, I have a duty to represent all.”
Madhuku says as a lawyer, he believes there’s is nothing called “the end of the world” as any case can be overturned with good enough legal arguments.