Government has intervened in the dispute between the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) and the Zimbabwe Institute of Legal Studies (ZILS) over the credibility of the institute, saying the association has no mandate to register education institutions, but should instead monitor the course content and curricula.Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa says the LSZ has no jurisdiction in the registration of education institutions in the legal fraternity, but can only monitor the course content and curriculum.
This follows reports that the law society, which represents views of the legal profession, claimed that Mr. Godwills Masimirembwa did not seek the authority of the society to run such an institution.
In a letter written to LSZ president Tinoziva Bere, Cde Chinamasa said:
â€œInstead of adopting a head in the sand approach to new developments, your council should take an interest in the content and structure of the law diploma curricula as this will enhance the study of law and jurisprudence in the country. I believe your council should start exercising its mind over the market niche that can be occupied by diploma in law graduands.â€
Chairman of the ZILS, Cde Masimirembwa said his institution is meant to complement existing colleges that offer legal studies, adding that the attitude by the LSZ appears to be an attack on his person.
â€œWe have made the necessary registration with the relevant authorities and we invited the Law Society of Zimbabwe to make the necessary checks, however when they realised that I will be running the institution, they began shifting goal posts which is unfortunate. We appealed to government and this is the result,â€ he said.
In a number of statements issued by LSZ, the body had been distancing itself from the ZILS claiming that the institution had not consulted the representative organ of the legal profession.
However, government has maintained that the registration of education institutions is the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.