LAWYERS, listen to [finance] minister [Felix Mutati] but do not take him seriously; he is playing politics himself!”
On Thursday, Mutati, as guest of honour at the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) conference in Livingstone told lawyers that they have not been offered an invitation to join politics.
He begged lawyers to stay out of politics.
“Leave us alone. Please leave the politicians with their circus of talking anyhow…we have not offered an invitation to you to join us,” said Mutati who als denied accusations that the PF government was behind schemes aimed at removing the LAZ executive led by Linda Kasonde.
Don’t talk anyhow on things that don’t really concern you. Think before you talk. Sometimes we get worried when the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) begins to appear like a political party.
But Brig Gen Miyanda disagreed with Mutati’s sentiments. In a statement, Brig Gen Miyanda stated that all LAZ members must be commended for their magnanimity in averting an undesirable outcome of the Extraordinary Meeting last Saturday.
He stated that although the outcome did not put to rest the raging controversy, it, however, took the members to a point where they might properly and soberly reflect on all aspects of “our life, including some controversies that may be interpreted narrowly as ‘political’, both obvious and latent.”
But I disagree with the Minister of Finance, Honourable Felix Mutati as Guest of Honour, when he advised lawyers in general, and members of LAZ in particular, to stay away from politics; he is offside. His statement is a counter weight thrown into one side of the scale by a biased consultant actively playing the Divide and Rule Card. I disagree with his advice…
Brig Gen Miyanda stated.
“The Minister’s understanding of politics is narrow. I advise Minister Mutati to learn from F. Wright who has defined government as ‘a constitutionally formed body responsible for directing the affairs of a community in the name of the citizens.’ He makes an interesting conclusion that ‘the Government must obey the constitution or go’ and that ‘the Government is NOT the state but it is merely one of the organs of the State.’ Can you see that the Minister is indirectly advising lawyers to hold opinions that agree with those in power?”
He stated that politics were the bedrock of all governance systems.
It is what gives life to the otherwise boring routine of lying, deceiving and threatening citizens. I once heard a misguided politician chide the Zambian opposition for ‘politicising’ the debate of the making of our Constitutions some time ago. And yet the Constitution is the most political document of all documents, for it captures all there is to a nation’s fears, hopes, and aspirations to be realised,
Brig Gen Miyanda stated.
“Politics is about life, about the hurt and disappointments of all citizens, about bread and butter issues, about governing. To govern is to conduct or direct the policy and affairs of the state or country. ‘Government’ refers to a group of people who govern a country and includes the opposition who in Zambia are perceived as enemies who must first be told to shut up and finally be crushed.”
He stated that contrary views always helped to forestall the emergency of a dictator.
In Zambia today, signs of dictatorship abound; the Minister’s advice or warning to our lawyers is evidence of hidden motives of frightened politicians. Checks and balances by various stakeholders in society, including lawyers, bring forth other views by discussion (another word for ‘dialogue’, which is feared and loathed by those in power and their alliance partners),
Brig Gen Miyanda stated.
“‘Time for politics is over…They are busy gallivanting throughout the length and breadth of this country, making various statements to chiefs, women, youth organisations, even to churches. Yet those with contrary views are labelled as enemies of the state! The song is meant for the opposition to dance but not to participate in singing; what an empty slogan! Politics never ends until you are six feet down.”
He stated that lawyers were not empty tins with no opinion on current affairs.
“If I may ask, what is politics? What is governance? For a start, the statement itself is political and actually made by a politician – how contradictory! Why was such a statement delivered to the beleaguered LAZ Annual General Meeting? I hope the lawyers do not end up adopting a resolution such as ‘we have resolved to support the Government of the Day’, an infamous pronouncement now being made by chiefs and some church leaders across the country after being visited by politicians in power and even some civil servants,” stated Brig Gen Miyanda. “These are hate messages disguised as advice. Lawyers, listen to the Minister but do not take him seriously; he is playing politics himself!”