The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) won the 2010 National Humanitarian Law Moot Court competition held at the High Court of Zimbabwe last week.
Defending champions UZ won the competition for the third time, beating contenders Midlands State University (MSU) to represent Zimbabwe in Arusha, Tanzania, this month.
The winning team comprised Shadreck Chisoko, Regina Bwanali and Charlene Musiza while MSU was represented by Ratidzo Makumbe, Proceed Manatsa and Exodus Donzvambeva.
The winning team is expected to represent Zimbabwe at the Pan-African International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Court hosted annually by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania from November 20 to 28.
The ICRC presented a legal problem which the two participating universities debated on before a panel of judges declared the winners according to the points scored in the facts.
The panel comprised High Court Judge President George Chiweshe, ICRC regional delegate Thomas Merkelbach and army director of prosecutions and defence legal services Group Captain Albert Murove.
Declaring the winners, Justice Chiweshe said the competition was a close contest.
“We took long to decide because the presentations were very high on both sides,” Justice Chiweshe said.
“We look forward to seeing lawyers in our courts displaying such confidence which goes to show that a lot of research would have been done.”
ICRC sponsors the annual competition which started in 2006. Zimbabwe won the regional competition in 2007 and last year when UZ was represented by David Hofisi, Rudo Magudane and Passmore Nyakurebwa.
In 2007, Zimbabwe won the regional competition represented by Thabani Mpofu, Fadzai Mahere and Farai Mushoriwa again from UZ.
ICRC head of communications in Zimbabwe Tendayi Sengwe said the competition sought to foster respect for international humanitarian law for future humanitarian lawyers.
“The aim of this competition is to foster respect for international humanitarian law through reaching out to the next generation of leaders,” Sengwe said.
Merkelbach gave a brief background of the organisation and its work in Zimbabwe.
“The ICRC is a neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian organisation that works to protect and assist civilians and persons no longer participating in armed conflict or other situations of violence,” he said.