MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora’s legal career is in limbo after the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) hauled him before a legal practitioners’ tribunal (LTP), where he will answer to charges of unprofessional conduct.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Mwonzora is set to appear before the LPT at the High Court on September 30 to answer to charges of unprofessional conduct involving the abuse of trust funds.
LSZ deputy secretary Wilbert Mandinde confirmed the hearing.
“It’s true that Mwonzora will appear before the LPT on September 30, 2016 to answer to charges of misconduct, but for more details, check with the High Court,” he said.
Mwonzora acknowledged that there would be a hearing, but said it was being fuelled by his political enemies.
“I will be appearing before the LPT, but I have to emphasise that I was acquitted in a criminal trial on the same charges by both the Magistrates’ Court and the High Court,” he said.
“These are politically-motivated charges.”
In one of the charges, Mwonzora is accused of abusing trust funds belonging to a mining firm that was represented by Justin Matenda.
The firm reportedly borrowed
$200 000 from Ecobank, but failed to repay the money on the agreed terms, resulting in a settlement that it had to pay back the loan in instalments of $15 000 through Mwonzora and Associates.
It was the firm’s assertion that it paid $15 000 to Mwonzora and Associates, but the money was not remitted to Ecobank. The law firm allegedly kept giving excuses why the money had not been forwarded, leaving the mining firm with no option, but to report the matter to the police.
This is not the first time that Mwonzora has faced charges of theft of trust funds. In 2006 he faced two other charges, but was acquitted by the courts.
Lawyers convicted of unprofessional conduct are usually deregistered and can only re-apply after rehabilitation, which in many instances takes over 10 years.