Chivayo renews fight to be represented by South African lawyer

HARARE – Businessman Wicknell Chivayo has approached the High Court seeking authority to be represented by a top South African lawyer, Zacharius Francois Joubert.

This is the second time he has approached the same court over the same issue.

Chivayo, who has several pending cases before the courts, says his matters are complex and require the best lawyers.

Chivayo wants the justice minister to respond to his September 6, 2019, request for an exemption certificate as well as have his lawyer issued with a temporary practicing certificate by the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ).

In the application, Chivayo cited justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and the Law Society of Zimbabwe as respondents.

Chivayo said he received communication from the justice ministry to provide further details after he made the request in September last year, which he submitted.

The ministry later responded claiming South Africa was not a reciprocating country, adding that any advocate from that country could not practice in Zimbabwe.

But Chivayo argues that Joubert was once granted an exemption certificate in Zimbabwe.

The justice minister, in response, indicated to the court that a decision had not yet been made in the matter, arguing that the application was premature, forcing the Intratek boss to withdraw the application.

“Subsequently on December 20, 2019, having received nothing from the first respondent (Ziyambi) my legal practitioners wrote to him again informing him that my criminal appeal had now been set down for February 10, 2020, in the Supreme Court. A request is made in the letter for the first respondent to issue the exemption certificate as originally applied. At the time of filing this application, the first respondent has not yet responded to this correspondence,” he said.

Chivayo told the court that he was seeking a review of the decision to deny his legal practitioner a residential exemption certificate.

“I have a right to a legal practitioner of my choice in terms of Section 69 (4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013, which right will be severely limited if I am not allowed to be represented by advocate Joubert in matters before the Supreme and High Court of Zimbabwe. I require the best legal representation possible and should be allowed unfettered room to select my representative,” he said.

Chivayo said he stands to suffer prejudice required if not allowed to be represented by Joubert.

He said he needs an advocate of the highest skills.

The justice minister and LSZ are yet to respond to his application. – ZimLive