Prominent lawyer shoots self
By Yvonne Ncube
A senior lawyer and managing partner at Webb, Low & Barry law firm, Norman Pattison, committed suicide by shooting himself at his Bradfield home yesterday afternoon, police have confirmed.
When a Chronicle news crew visited the house, the police had collected Pattison’s body.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident.
“The police are investigating a case of a male adult who is suspected to have allegedly shot himself at his residence in Bradfield. Further details will be provided in a statement tomorrow,” said Insp Ncube.
Webb, Low & Barry senior partner Mr David Coltart yesterday said Pattison had been ill and depressed for a while.
“Pattison has been ill for a long time and seemingly depressed. It is with deep sadness on behalf of the partners of Webb, Low & Barry we bemoan the death of our partner. Our sincere condolences are extended to his family and friends,” said Mr Coltart.
He said Pattison last reported for work in April.
An anonymous source said Pattison was alone in the house when he took his life.
“He was alone when that happened, his wife had gone shopping at Bradfield Shopping Mall. At first, she thought that he was sleeping; it was later that she realised that he had shot himself; that’s when she alerted family and friends,” said the source.
According to the law firm’s website Pattison graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1982 before joining Webb, Low & Barry in 1983.
He was admitted as an attorney that same year and became a partner at Webb, Low & Barry in 1985, said the site.
In addition to commercial litigation, the site said Pattison oversaw the Accounting and Estates Departments.
In a similar incident, a part four student at the National University of Science and Technology studying towards a Degree in Biology and Biochemistry Alpha Kayeruza committed suicide by throwing himself in a dam in Mvurwi, Mashonaland Central province on Saturday.
He was buried on Monday.
In a circular, Nust student representative council minister of information Mr Desire Kateyera said: “It is with great sadness that we note the passing away of Mr Alpha Kayeruza. He is alleged to have committed suicide by throwing himself in a dam Mvurwi.”
Mr Kateyera urged students to make use of the counselling services provided by the institution.
“We urge students to talk to someone whenever they have challenges. Counselling services are available at the divisions of student affairs (Office No WG8) and at the Nust student’s residence.
“Mental illness can be invisible. You can have anxiety, but still sound confident. You can be depressed but still smile and make jokes. You can be suicidal, but appear ‘very fine’. Be wary of these and make sure you share what could be affecting your mental health with someone,” said Mr Kateyera.
Last month, a part three student pursuing a Property Development and Estate Management Degree from the same institution, Vernon Musomera, is said to have killed himself at his parents’ home in Nkwisi Gardens, Tynwald in Harare. The Chronicle