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Mazibisa surrenders practising certificate

by Thandeka Moyo
05 Feb 2015 at 06:41hrs | Views
A HIGH Court judge yesterday dismissed an application by Cheda and Partners to stop the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) from placing it under curatorship, which obliges the law firm's two senior partners to voluntarily surrender their practising certificates.

The leading Bulawayo law firm was placed under curatorship by the LSZ on Saturday over $350,000 fraud allegations involving its senior partner, prominent lawyer, Sindiso Mazibisa.

Justice Martin Makonese maintained that the law firm would operate under curatorship though not all legal practitioners under the law firm would be obliged to surrender their practising certificates.

The judge said seven lawyers at the firm would continue practising while Mazibisa and Mlamuli Ncube, who volunteered to surrender their practising certificates to the LSZ, would have to apply to the Law Society when they decide to resume practising.

Justice Makonese said advocate Perpetua Dube would assume control and administration of the Cheda and Partners Trust Account as a curator and shall be the sole signatory with immediate effect.

"Now, therefore, the parties have resolved to settle the matter by way of this Deed of Settlement with the following terms and conditions. The decision of the LSZ to recall the practising certificates of all the legal practitioners practising under Cheda and Partners is suspended pending further investigations," said Justice Makonese.

"The seven practitioners: Nqobizitha Ndlovu, Nkosilathi Mlala, Dumisani Dube, Cedric Dube, Mitchel Chigova, Busisiwe Dube and Nozabelo Ndlovu shall continue to hold on to their practising certificates."

Justice Makonese also said all the lawyers at Cheda must cooperate and comply with all lawful directions of Advocate Dube.

"The LSZ shall publish a formal statement to the public in the print media outlining the position and status of Cheda and Partners in light of the Deed of Settlement," he added.

Cheda, which is represented by Advocate Lukas Nkomo, made an urgent chamber application on Saturday after the LSZ placed the organisation under curatorship, seeking a reversal of the decision.

Mazibisa is a losing MDC candidate for the Magwegwe Constituency in the July 31, 2013, elections.

LSZ secretary Edward Mapara told The Chronicle on Sunday that there were a number of questionable transactions happening at Cheda which led to the decision to put the law firm under curatorship.

"We carried out preliminary investigations and in our findings we discovered that there were a number of questionable transactions taking place. We then saw it fit to protect members of the public by closing Cheda and Partners for now until we have finer findings of our investigations," said Mapara.

He also confirmed that Mazibisa's 350k fraud allegations were the major reason why the law firm was put under curatorship.

"There's no way we can ignore irregularities, especially where Trust accounts are involved. We've to guard accounts with clients' money very jealously," he said.

LSZ would deregister some lawyers if it emerges that they were involved, he said.

Source - chronicle