The Law Society of Zimbabwe has distanced itself from Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation chairman Godwills Masimirembwa’s law college, Zimbabwe Institute of Legal Studies, which he intends to set up.
Masimirembwa is executive chairman and chief executive officer of the college that has been splashing adverts in local newspapers, inviting applicants to enrol for diplomas and certificates in law.
The Law society, which represents views of the legal profession, yesterday claimed Masimirembwa did not seek the authority of the society to run such an institution.
In a statement, LSZ president Tinoziva Bere said several people had made inquiries seeking the credibility of the college.
“The Law Society does not recognise the qualifications being offered. LSZ states that it was never consulted on the content and objectives of these studies and so it never had an opportunity to exercise its powers in terms of the law,” Bere said.
“Masimirembwa only approached LSZ on February 10 2012 after the college had already opened doors to the public. He was seeking dialogue which he should have sought before opening the college and enrolling fee paying students.”
Bere said LSZ had the right to review standards of legal training and take positions or make appropriate recommendations to the Council for Legal Education or the Minister of Justice.
“The Law Society, therefore, has a vested say in legal training in the country and may object to legal qualifications and, or legal training in the best interests of the public, the administration of justice or of the legal profession,” said Bere adding that the law society would be engaging the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education (ZIMCHE) and the Council for Legal Education on the issue.
Numerous efforts to get comment from Masimirembwa were unsuccessful yesterday as his mobile phone went unanswered.