Law Society of Zimbabwe Disputes Claims of Trust Fund Misconduct by Lawyers

April 3, 2024
law society of zimbabwe issues statement on state of legal profession in zimbabwe | Report Focus News
law society of zimbabwe issues statement on state of legal profession in zimbabwe

The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has moved swiftly to dismiss allegations of trust fund theft and professional misconduct among lawyers, labeling recent reports as “woefully inaccurate” and potentially damaging to public perception.

The controversy ignited following the launch of “Being the Best Lawyer,” a book authored by senior legal figure Mr. Lloyd Mativenga Mhishi, on March 22, 2024. While the book received widespread acclaim for its insights into legal practice, certain media interpretations of remarks made by Mr. Mhishi during the launch event sparked sensationalized claims of widespread malpractice within the legal fraternity.

The LSZ, in a statement released today, clarified that Mr. Mhishi’s comments were not intended to implicate lawyers in trust fund theft. Rather, they emphasized concerns about declining professional standards within the legal profession. The society denounced reports attributing trust fund malfeasance to some 700 lawyers, labeling the statistics as “woefully inaccurate” and rooted in unrelated sources from 2023.

Expressing concern over the proliferation of misleading information, particularly on social media platforms, the LSZ reiterated its commitment to ensuring transparency and integrity within the legal profession. It disclosed that instances of professional misconduct are rigorously investigated and addressed, with the total number of lawyers de-registered or under investigation for misconduct remaining minimal over the past four decades.

In a bid to uphold public trust, the LSZ underscored its role in regulating the legal profession, guaranteeing that licensed lawyers adhere to ethical standards and uphold the rule of law. It emphasized its readiness to provide information on the licensing status of any lawyer upon inquiry, emphasizing transparency and accountability as paramount.

The LSZ’s swift rebuttal aims to assuage concerns and prevent the dissemination of misinformation that could undermine confidence in Zimbabwe’s legal system. The society called upon media outlets and commentators to exercise diligence in verifying information before dissemination to uphold journalistic integrity and public trust.