Masimirembwa accuses LSZ of political victimisation

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Blacklisted Harare lawyer and chairman of the newly-established Zimbabwe Institute of Legal studies, Godwills Masimirembwa claims the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) was refusing to recognise his training college because of his affiliation to Zanu PF.

The LSZ recently published Press statements distancing itself from Masimirembwa’s project, claiming the college was an illegal institution.

“I am sure if this college was someone else’s there would not be a problem,” said Masimirembwa.

“Just because it is Masimirembwa’s there is all this talk from the LSZ. The reality of the problem and why they want to discredit me is because of my political grounds. It’s purely political because I support Zanu PF which they don’t support.

“Everything I do, they oppose. Did they stop (Lovemore) Madhuku from teaching? Why didn’t they stop him? He started teaching before he was registered. They did not have a problem with that, but they have a problem with me. This is clearly a personal attack on me because of my political affiliation.”

Masimirembwa, who is also chairman of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, had his practicing licence withdrawn over 13 years ago when he was blacklisted by the LSZ for abusing trust funds.

Masimirembwa’s attempt to return to the legal profession suffered a setback last year after the High Court ruled that his case had to be tried as a contested matter.

Yesterday, Masimirembwa maintained that the Law Society had no jurisdiction over his college since it was already registered with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.

“The Law Society of Zimbabwe has no jurisdiction over our diploma and certificate courses as these do not entitle graduates to be registered as legal practitioners,” said Masimirembwa, adding 71 students had already enrolled for training at the private college with lectures expected to start next week.

The college offers diploma and certificate courses in applied law, forensic science and crime investigations, commerce and law and mineral law and policy.

The lecturers include Masimiremwba himself, Marshall Mapondera, Maxwell Mareza Hove, Collen Masimirembwa, Clyde Makamure, Fainos Chuma, Lillian Mhuru, Musekiwa Kamba, Edwin Mashayanye, Lorraine Matekenya-Wakatama, Michelle Maziwisa, Mondli Sibanda, Cremmah Chipere, Shingirayi Gona, Vengai Madzima, Shiella Rufu and Lynette Masango.

However, the LSZ yesterday said seven of the 17 lecturers, Maziwisa, Masango, Madzima, Mapondera, Mhuru,Hove and Rufu, were not registered lawyers while another one, Chipere, was facing de-registration over allegations of abusing trust funds.

The matter is still before the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal.

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