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Mtetwa summoned to respond to her claims that Justice Malaba is ‘captured’

The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has called on prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa to respond to accusations that she claimed Chief Justice Luke Malaba was “captured”.

The complaint against Mtetwa was filed by a fellow legal practitioner, Tinomudaishe Chinyoka.

Chinyoka, in a letter of complaint, wrote to the LSZ that in August 2018, Mtetwa attended a hearing in the Chief Justice’s chambers at the Constitutional Court.

He claimed that he was also at the hearing representing President Emmerson Mnangagwa in an application filed by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

After the hearing, Chinyoka claimed, Mtetwa shouted that the Chief Justice was a captured judge on her way out of the chambers

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“It is alleged that you were the legal counsel for the applicant (MISA). It is further alleged that on your way out of the chambers, you shouted, ‘… this is a case that I do not mind losing because we all know that the Chief Justice is captured’.

“It is alleged that these words cast serious aspersions on the office of the Chief Justice and the judiciary,” a letter dated 24 January 2022, from LSZ to Mtetwa reads.

“From the attached documents, your professional conduct seems to point to a possible contravention of Section 23 (2) (a) of the Legal Practitioners Act [Chapter 27:02] as read with By-Law 3 (20) and (21) of the Legal Practitioners (Code of Conduct) By-Laws SI 37 of 2018.”

The lawyer was given 14 days to respond.

“Kindly note that your failure to respond within the stipulated time frame will result in negative inferences being drawn from your failure to respond and the matter would be forwarded to the disciplinary and ethics committee without further reference to you.” Nehanda Radio