PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has congratulated the Zimbabwe Moot Court team after it was crowned champions for beating the Netherlands in the final of the European Moot Court Championships held in Romania yesterday.
It was an emotional moment when the team, drawn from four high schools — Dominican Convent, Peterhouse, Midlands Christian College and Arundel — wrote their fairytale and landed the top prize.
In his congratulatory message, President Mnangagwa, who donated US$30 000 to the team before it left Harare last week, said the team had done the country proud.
“Another victory for the pride of Zimbabwe. These are the faces of the champions of the 2022 European Moot Court (after posting a picture of the team members). The first African country to compete and the first to win,” wrote President Mnangagwa on his official Twitter handle.
Speaking after their victory, team coach, Mr Nqobile Dube, said he was excited by the performance of his team.
“I am ecstatic for our victory. It has been an amazing experience, the entire competition. It has been my honour to coach these young, brilliant minds.
“We came this far because of all the support we got from the country and I want to show my appreciation to all Zimbabweans and everyone all over the world that made it possible,” he said.
Team captain, Ruvimbo Simbi, said: “The experience was absolutely astronomical. It was a tough battle against the Netherlands but we proved to them that we have talent. We could feel your support all the way from Romania.”
She said for the whole week in Romania, they were making rigorous practice.
The team participated in six preliminary rounds against Scotland, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and Bulgaria.
“We want to commend everyone us for supporting. We can’t wait to come home with the prize we deserved.”
A team member, Henriatta Paundi, paid tribute to stakeholders who supported them.
“It has been such a great honour to participate in such a prestigious international tournament and I would like to give a big thank you to our sponsors, our parents as well as the different school administrations who supported us throughout. The team is excited because we have worked hard,” she said.
Her colleague, Kuzivakwashe Kuleya, said: “We really enjoyed our time here, the team knew what we needed to do, we knew our roles, we understood what needed to be done. We are happy we beat the Netherlands and we showed them that this is the first time and it will not be the last.”
Another team player, Hazel Chiige, attributed their victory to rigorous training and determination.
“That was an amazing experience, we really did training and practice. There were lots of sleepless evenings and early mornings and they were all worth it for this prize,” she said.
Before their departure, the team was optimistic of coming out tops at the championships, and promised to do well to repay the support they got, including from President Mnangagwa who gave them US$30 000 to demonstrate his support for them.
In May, the team was crowned world champions after winning the 2022 World Moot Court competition hosted virtually by the United States, resulting in them being invited to participate in the European Moot Competition.
A moot court simulates a real court where students are made to participate in the staged court proceedings that are related to a fictional dispute between parties.
Mostly, moot courts are conducted in law schools where the students are expected to pursue their careers in the field of law as lawyers, arbitrators and judges; hence they are made to practice to be trained for the future along with development of the required skills.