|Govt intervenes in LSZ, Masimirembwa feud|
|Friday, 02 March 2012 00:00|
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has intervened in the row between the Law Society of Zimbabwe and Mr Godwills Masimirembwa’s Zimbabwe Institute of Legal Studies with Justice and Legal Affairs Minister saying the former has no jurisdiction over the establishment of the college.
Minister Chinamasa wrote to the LSZ on Wednesday making Government’s position on the matter clear.
Reads part of the letter: “I acknowledge receipt of the president (Tinoziva Bere)’s annual report for 2011.
“I have gone through the report and would want to make a small comment on paragraph 6 of the report relating to legal education and continuing legal education.
“I make this comment in the context of Mr Bere’s statement pertaining to the Zimbabwe Institute of Legal Studies, which I am informed, has been authorised by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to operate and issue diplomas in Law to successful students.”
Minister Chinamasa said he had no problem with the LSZ having an interest in assessing the content and structure of degree curricula on offer at law schools in the country.
“But what is good for the goose must be good for the gander. In my respectful view, your council should take interest in the content and structure of diploma curricula that may be on offer at lawfully established colleges and institutions offering legal studies in the country,” he said.
Minister Chinamasa was, however, clear that the LSZ had no say over the establishment of universities and colleges.
“The establishment of universities and colleges is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.
“Instead of adopting a ‘head in the sand’ approach to new developments, your council should take an interest in the content and structure of 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,” he said.
The LSZ is opposed to the establishment of the ZILS by Mr Masimirembwa with its president arguing that only his organisation had a right to review standards of legal training and to make appropriate recommendations to the Council for Legal Education or the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs.
“The LSZ categorically states that it is not in any manner associated with the ZILS.
“The qualifications are not on the list of those recognised by the Council for Legal Education.
“The LSZ does not recognise the qualifications being offered,” Mr Bere said this week.
Mr Masimirembwa argues that the LSZ was throwing spanners on his project on political grounds.
He has indicated he will seek recourse in the courts.