Law Society Responds To 700 Lawyers Story Without Explaining Why Zibusiso, Welshman Are Walking Scot Free | FULL TEXT
3 April 2024
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HARARE, 2 April 2024 – The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has issued a clarifying statement in response to widespread so called “misinformation” concerning the integrity of its members and the legal profession at large. The organization emphasizes its commitment to maintaining high ethical standards and refutes inaccurate media reports suggesting that a significant number of lawyers have been involved in unprofessional conduct, specifically relating to the mismanagement of trust funds.

The controversy stemmed from the publication of Mr. Lloyd Mativenga Mhishi’s book, *Being the Best Lawyer*, which was launched on 22 March 2024. The book, celebrating the essence of legal professionalism through personal anecdotes and a call for adherence to core values, was mistakenly interpreted by some media outlets as an indictment of the legal profession’s integrity. Contrary to reports, Mr. Mhishi did not cite any statistics regarding unprofessional conduct within the profession.

The LSZ criticized these reports for being based on inaccurate data, purportedly linking them to unrelated stories from 2023. The society highlights its proactive approach in handling complaints against legal practitioners, emphasizing that all grievances are thoroughly investigated in accordance with relevant laws and policies. Only a fraction of these complaints result in disciplinary actions, and the figures cited by some media outlets grossly misrepresent the reality.

In its efforts to ensure accountability and transparency, the LSZ Council exercises a range of deterrent measures against malpractice, including fines and reprimands. In cases of severe misconduct, the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (LPDT) has the authority to impose stricter penalties such as suspension or de-registration. However, the LSZ confirms that the total number of lawyers de-registered over the past 40 years is significantly lower than reported, and such information is readily available on its website.

The Law Society assures the public of the profession’s integrity, noting that every licensed legal practitioner in Zimbabwe is vetted and registered, with their licensing status openly accessible. This transparency, according to the LSZ, is foundational to ensuring that the public can confidently entrust their legal matters to their lawyers.

The LSZ’s statement, if accurate, will serve as a reminder of the importance of accurate reporting and fact-checking, especially when dealing with professions that hold a significant place in public trust and the administration of justice. The society reaffirms its dedication to upholding the highest standards of legal practice in Zimbabwe, ensuring the legal profession’s role in advancing justice and the rule of law remains unblemished.