By Mary Taruvinga
CONTROVERSIAL businessman, Wicknell Chivayo is restless after the Justice Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi barred his attorney of choice from representing him in his pending criminal cases.
Chivayo has hired one Zacharias Francois Joubert, a practicing advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa to represent him in cases including one between him and the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a Supreme Court appeal and another one in which he is being jointly charged with former ZPC board chairperson, Stanley Kazhanje.
The businessman filed an urgent chamber with the High Court seeking nullification of a decision by the Justice minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi who denied Joubert a residential exemption certificate so that he can practice in Zimbabwe.
“In fact, the minister denied the application on the basis that South Africa is not reciprocating country and as such any advocate from that country could not be allowed to practice in Zimbabwe.
“I am advised by my legal practitioners, which advise I accept as correct that the interpretation given in denying Joubert the exemption certificate is not legally sound and therefore incorrect,” said Chivayo.
“In denying to issue the exemption certificate, the respondent relied on the fact that Joubert is not resident in a reciprocating country or in Zimbabwe. I’m advised that an exemption certificate is granted specifically in such circumstances.”
He added: “The matters before the courts are complex and require an advocate of the highest skill. Other matters which I require him to represent me are State versus Intratrek Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd and Chivhayo SC422/19 and the State versus Intratrek (Pvt) Ltd and Chivhayo and Stanley Nyasha Kazhanje.”
Chivayo is accused of bribing Kazhanje in a bid to facilitate a solar project contract between his company Intratek Zimbabwe and ZPC.
In another case, ZPC is accusing Intratrek of breaching an agreement by not contributing $1 million which it was supposed to inject into the partnership leading to the stalling of the solar project contract signed over four years ago.
The power company is now seeking to appeal the order compelling it to work with Chivayo.
Chivayo said the trial in which he is jointly charged with Kazhanje kicks off on October 14 this year as such his request should be addressed urgently.
The Zimbabwe Law Society was cited as a second respondent in the application.