‘We Won’t Be Swayed From Defending Rule Of Law’: Lawyers

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By Anna Chibamu

AMID a spat of politically motivated attacks, the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has reasserted its obligation to defend the rule of law, protect the integrity of the legal profession and independence of the judiciary.

In a statement Saturday, the legal profession’s regulator accused unnamed characters of seeking political gain by besmirching its reputation and questioning its regulatory framework in a bid to cause divisions through racial bigotry.

The LSZ said the attacks had heightened since it challenged in court, Constitutional Amendments Number 1 and 2 by government.

It said in challenging the amendments, the overriding aim was to support the delivery of justice in Zimbabwe, protect the independence of the legal profession and maintain public confidence in the judiciary.

“It is clear from the provisions of the law that the Law Society has not veered from its objects and inferences to the contrary by some characters are aimed at soiling the image of the profession, the society and its membership,” the LSZ said.

It also noted concern that attacks against it had been targeted at the LSZ’s disciplinary processes and regulatory functions.

“There seems to be a clearly constructed narrative to create a schism of rift within the profession establishing opposing camps along racial or political lines. This we believe is aimed at weakening the unity of the profession and tarnishing the Law Society’s reputation and public standing as an independent professional body.

“The Law Society remains a non-partisan, apolitical and independent institution driven by the needs of its membership and protection of the public from errant lawyers.”

It said the regulation of the legal profession by the Law Society was not done for the benefit of lawyers but the public, and in the long run the profession would benefit from the trust reposed in its activities.

LSZ added; “While the Law Society can never be immune to constructive criticism, the poisonous social media rants from one individual is totally misplaced and a result of deficiency in information.

“If anything, the Law Society with respect view this as nothing but mischief aimed at stoking unnecessary tensions within the profession for obvious nefarious personal benefit.”