“I have no obligation to strip Law Society’s powers”- Ziyambi
JUSTICE Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi has dismissed a request for his office to curtail the Law Society of Zimbabwe’s current powers arguing that the task does not fall within his constitutionally ordained mandate.
He made the remarks in a notice of opposition to a High Court application filed by Harare lawyer Joshua Chirambwe that seeks to strip the association of its powers to regulate the legal profession.
“I have no constitutional obligation to introduce a Bill such as is sought by applicant and consequently this honorable court cannot therefore grant the order sought in circumstances where no duty exists or is imposed on me.
“As a member of the Cabinet of Zimbabwe it is the responsibility of such Cabinet to initiate and prepare such a bill of the nature sought by applicant,” said Ziyambi.
He pointed out that in the absence of the court being requested to make such a finding he respectfully avers that applicant is not entitled to any declarateurs or orders for consequential relief which he seeks and his application should therefore be dismissed.
“As a preliminary observation I wish to point out that while applicant avers that his application has been brought in terms of Section 85(1)(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe , the relief which he seeks in his draft order contains no finding to be made by this honorable court that he has a specific right or rights under Chapter 4 of the Constitution which has ,or have been infringed by either myself or other respondents or that such of a right or rights are likely to continue being infringed,” said Ziyambi.
Chirambwe’s application seeks to challenge the LSZ’s sole regulatory function.
In his High Court application, he said he was seeking a declaratory relief setting aside sections 58, 64 and 65(1) to (5) of the Legal Practitioners Act as invalid and in violation of the Constitution.
According to the Legal Practitioners Act, one has to be a member of the LSZ before they are registered by a High Court judge and allowed to practise as a lawyer.
Chirambwe argues this is unfair because the Constitution gives everyone the right to associate with organisations or groups of choice, adding that he did not want to be affiliated to the LSZ, which he accuses of sometimes pursuing political agendas.