There has been an outpour of rage following a clampdown on lawyers by the police. People have expressed fears that the legal institution might be in jeopardy following several arrests on top lawyers and advocates. This has sparked major concern. The charade began with the arrest of prominent lawyer and opposition party legal guru Advocate Thabani Mpofu. He was arrested and charged with a slew of charges including fraud. His lawyer later gave a statement alleging that the state’s case was weak and the evidence available was as good as grasping at straws.
Another lawyer affiliated to the opposition MDC, Tapiwa Makanza was also arrested recently for charges said to be arising in the discharge of his duties.
The recent arrest of yet another famous legal brain, Advocate Hashiti has caused unrest within legal circles. The loud spoken and sharp lawyer was picked up recently by police. Lawyers have confessed that they are now scared to take up matters or exercise their legal duties for dear of being arrested and charged. It remains to be seen whether the lawyers will be convicted of the various offences they are being charged with.
The conduct of lawyers is regulated by the Law Society of Zimbabwe which can make investigations into allegations of misconduct and decide on the appropriate penalty.
Several lawyers have been arrested in the past including Advocate Fadzayi Mahere and Everson Samkange.