No joy for MDC Alliance lawyers

HARARE - Nelson Chamisa’s lawyers from South Africa, who are in the country to represent the MDC Alliance leader’s July 30 presidential results challenge, were still to be cleared as of yesterday.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said there was no time to process the MDC Alliance’s lawyers from South Africa, who are seeking to represent the party leader Nelson Chamisa in an application in which he is challenging president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the just-ended harmonised elections.

The MDC Alliance had sought the services of South African advocates Dali Mpofu, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Jeremy Gauntlet, Mitchell Jason and Tapiwa Shumba, to assist in arguing Chamisa’s Constitutional Court challenge.

However, Ziyambi told the Daily News yesterday the application was filed late and cannot be processed with the speed of lightning.

“I do not even understand why it (the application) should be done with lightning speed. Where in the world would an application be made and finalised in a day?

“There are certain procedures that have to be followed in the application and those procedures cannot be finished in a day. I have to follow the Legal Practitioners’ Act. Even if you were to go to (Registrar-General Tobaiwa) Mudede’s office for a birth certificate, you would not get it in a day.

“I don’t think they were serious with the application, because they filed it on Friday and expected to get a response on Monday. If they (Council for Legal Education) respond before the end of day, we will consider it but I still have to take it to the Law Society of Zimbabwe, so it’s the time that is limiting,” Ziyambi said, adding that he also has to go through the lawyers’ qualifications.

Chamisa’s legal counsel was banking on Ziyambi, confirming that they have sent their request to him for considerations.

A member of the legal team Sylvester Hashiti, confirmed to the Daily News that they had sent the application to Ziyambi, who had in turn told them that he had forwarded the same to the Council for Legal Education.

“The lawyers are part of the legal team but they are not necessarily the ones arguing the matter,” Hashiti said.

In the August 17 letter written by Chamisa’s lawyers, Atherston and Cook, the attorneys requested for a ministerial certificate for the South African advocates, who also include Gauntlett, in terms of Section 7 of the Legal Practitioners Act (Chapter 27:07).

“We make this application for a ministerial certificate to your office in terms of Section 7 of the Legal Practitioners Act (Chapter 27:07) which provides for the issuance of a certificate of exemption by the minister,” the letter reads in part.

Chamisa’s lawyers submitted that the subject matter was complex as it relates to “evidentiary issues that are not ordinarily addressed in usual court cases”.

“Because of the sophisticated and specialised nature of the case, we intend to instruct an advocate with expertise that we expect to be applied in advancing our client’s interests,” the attorneys requested, adding that “the legal practitioner whom we have identified is Advocate Jeremy John Gauntlett SC and QC who lives and practices law in South Africa”.

The South African pair of Mpofu and Ngcukaitobi arrived on Friday and met with the MDC Alliance local legal ensemble fronted by Advocate Thabani Mpofu.

Comments (3)

We know that this papers has be biased and support MDC

Anthony Mazuru - 23 August 2018

We know that this papers has be biased and support MDC

Anthony Mazuru - 23 August 2018

This paper must report positively not to be biased when it comes people who they oppose.The whole world was watching and we saw what happened.

Anthony Mazuru - 23 August 2018

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