Government moves to end brown envelope justice

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Crime & Courts | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba

Government has approved amendments to the The Legal Practitioners Act [Chapter 27:07] that regulates the legal profession in Zimbabwe.

Among the key changes envisioned are changed to the way the Law Society of Zimbabwe is operated.
Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa announced the impending changes during a post-cabinet briefing today.

The Law Society of Zimbabwe which was formed in 1981 to replace the previous bar association will now be under more strict scrutiny to ensure professionalism is upheld.

“Cabinet has considered and approved the Principles of the Proposed Amendment to the Legal Practitioners Act [Chapter 27:07], presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The Act established the Law Society of Zimbabwe, a corporate body which was incorporated in terms of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (Private) Act [Chapter 223 of 1974],” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She noted that highlighted in Minister Ziyambi’s report were several provisions of the Act that have been identified that need to be amended to ensure a high standard of professional ethics, efficient and economical use of resources as well as transparency and accountability.

“Section 52(o) of the Act will be amended by the insertion of a new section that authorizes the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to exercise his discretion to approve or disapprove external funding raised by the Law Society of Zimbabwe to ensure efficient and economical use of resources.
This will ensure good corporate governance principles as entrenched in the Constitution,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

The amendments will also touch on the composition of the Law Society Council.

“Section 54(1)(b) is amended so that Ministerial appointments to the Law Society Council are increased from two to four councillors in the national interest,” added Minister Mutsvangwa.

The general membership of the entity is drawn from all registered legal practitioners residing in Zimbabwe whether in private practice, in commerce or in civil service.