By James Gwati – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made a controversial move by appointing renowned Harare lawyer Lewis Uriri to the new ZBC board.
Uriri, who recently provided pro-bono legal services to CCC activist Sengezo Tshabangu, steps into this role following the dismissal of the previous board led by Dr. Josaya Tai.
The reshuffling occurred on Wednesday after the dismissal of the board and two presenters for airing content deemed anti-Ndebele.
Advocate Uriri, a prominent figure in Zimbabwe’s legal landscape, notably served as President Mnangagwa’s lawyer during the Constitutional Court challenge against Nelson Chamisa’s petition in the aftermath of the 2018 elections.
Uriri’s involvement in CCC activist Tshabangu’s legal matters garnered attention, particularly for his initial provision of free legal services.
Tshabangu, who claims to be CCC’s interim secretary-general, revealed on the Asakhe Online program, The Breakfast Club, that Uriri empathized with his financial challenges and kickstarted the legal proceedings without charge.
Speaking about Uriri’s support, Tshabangu stated, “He said he would get the ball rolling so that the people in general would know what was going on and understand my cause. He did the first appearance free of charge.”
Tshabangu further detailed the financial backing received from various sources, including members of the business community who understood and supported his cause.
The political journey of Tshabangu, formerly associated with the MDC and later part of the PDP, took a turn when he rejoined the mainstream MDC Alliance during its transformation into the CCC.
In October 2023, Tshabangu initiated the recall of several parliamentarians and councillors, alleging their departure from the party.
President Mnangagwa’s choice of Uriri for the ZBC board signals a strategic alignment, highlighting the lawyer’s allegiance to Zanu PF.