Buyanga files judicial misconduct complaint against ex-fiancee's lawyer

© Businessman Frank Buyanga has filed a judicial misconduct complaint with the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) against his ‘baby mama’ Chantelle Muteswa’s lawyer, Munyaradzi Bwanya of Wilmot and Bennet Legal Practitioners, accusing the attorney of wantonly disobeying court orders and interposing himself in a dispute that is for the courts to resolve.  

Bwanya faces the spectre of disciplinary action by an LSZ Grievance Committee, which has various disciplinary options at its disposal, including disbarment and suspension if the attorney is found guilty.

Buyanga is embroiled in a vicious fight with his ex-girlfriend over “custody and access rights” to their minor child Daniel Sadiqi.
This comes as the 31-year-old mother has been playing hide and seek with the boy’s travel documents over the easter holidays - in defiance of a January 2019 court order allowing to take his child to South Africa (SA) - the latter has preferred charges against his former fiancé.

And when Buyanga’s lawyer Admire Rubaya, and the police visited the baby mama’s Glen Lorne home to “enforce the memorandum of agreement” at the weekend, they were told that
Daniel’s passport was with her lawyer Bwanya.

While Muteswa’s legal adviser has confirmed possessing the four year-old boy’s travel documents and failing to pass them on to Rubaya “due to logistical problems”, he says that
they are actually in the process of “filling a court appeal to overturn the previous judgement on temporary custody for the sake of the child's well-being” after a nasty altercation
between Buyanga and his client on Friday.

“At the core of the dispute with my ex-girlfriend were the legality, constitutionality and validity of her decision to deny me access to our son,” Buyanga said in a letter to the LSZ. “I
had tried to get have access to my child especially during holidays, but Ms Muteswa denied me that right,” he said, adding he sought court intervention on case number CCA205/18, and
the court granted him the right to be with the child.

“On the 11th of January 2019, the court ordered Ms Muteswa to release the minor's passport to me whenever I intended to have access to my child. On the 19th of April 2019 at around
midday, Ms Muteswa delivered my son to my place of residence … in Glenlorne. She failed to deliver the passport along with the child as stipulated by the said court order.

I went to her known address and sent her an email asking for the child's passport, but she did not respond save telling Daniel carer that she had left town and left the passport with her lawyers.”

Buyanga told the LSZ that Bwanya ignored and neglected all communication sent to him by
his lawyer.

“After several calls and text attempts my lawyers then requested that Bwanya release the passport in an email sent him and copied to Wilmot and Bennet. This behaviour by Mr Bwanya is worrisome as he is an officer of the court. My lawyers have tried in vain to impress upon him that he should not disobey orders of our courts and to interpose himself in a dispute that is for the courts to resolve.

“Not only did Mr Bwanya disregard a standing court order, he actively participated in the subversion of justice by hiding the minor's passport, yet the matter had already been
pronounced on by our courts,” Buyanga said in the letter to the local bar.

The Johannesburg-based businessman said Bwanya's conduct violates the rule forbidding "knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a third person or failing to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client."

“I am sure you are aware that Zimbabwe is on a serious drive to re-engage the world and rule of law is one key area of major concern,” Buyanga said in the letter to the LSZ. “It is your
duty to show the world that you are a professional body that takes courts seriously by punishing delinquent members. The society has enough teeth to show the lawyers of Zimbabwe must always respect court orders and follow due process. I have taken the liberty of copying the President of Zimbabwe and other parties that must be aware of the wrought in the legal profession. Our courts must be respected,” the businessman said.

He also emphasised that the allegations contained in his letter of complaint were “extremely serious”, adding Bwanya had conducted himself “irregularly.”

“He actively aided his client to commit a crime and lied to courts about it.  “In my opinion, he has not conducted himself in a manner in line with the characteristics of a
fit and proper person in legal profession. I trust that you will deal with these allegations in an expedited manner. I remain available and guided in your participative efforts,” Buyanga said
in his letter.

Apart from the “unsupervised access” issue, it seems the parties have also been fighting about where the young boy should be enrolled, with the Johannesburg-based businessman insisting
that he goes to Ruzawi Primary School while Muteswa is holding out that he remains at Harare International School.

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