Leonard Ncube Bulawayo Bureau
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa arrived here yesterday evening for the 20th Sadc Lawyers Association annual conference he is expected to officially open this morning.
The President landed just before 6pm at the Victoria Falls International Airport and was welcomed by Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Richard Moyo and Government officials.
He was accompanied by former Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
The Sadc Lawyers Association organised the conference in conjunction with the Law Society of Zimbabwe.
The theme of the conference is: “Supporting strong institutions for equal access to justice for all.”
Yesterday male and female members of the legal fraternity and the judiciary in Sadc region held separate closed door meetings.
Mr Trevor Manuel, who is South Africa’s former Minister of Finance is expected to give the keynote speech.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba and human rights lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa will be some of the speakers.
According to the programme, the conference will discuss among other things, the state of rule of law, democracy and governance in the Sadc region as well as the role of institutions of democracy.
There will also be a discussion on the role of legal counsel in structuring public-private partnerships and infrastructure development deals.
Threats to independence of the legal profession and judiciary, embracing artificial intelligence in the legal practice as well as opportunities for business in cryptocurrency and other technical tools for legal practice are the other topics on the conference’s programme which ends on Sunday.
There will also be presentations on illicit financial flows, cross border practice as well as state capture as an emerging threat to justice.
Delegates will also discuss the role of electoral management bodies in strengthening electoral democracy in the Sadc region.
The conference will close with an awards ceremony where female legal practitioners will be rewarded for their work.