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'Chamisa's expat lawyers applied for admission to practice in Zimbabwe'

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa's international attorneys contesting President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa's victory in the July 30 harmonised elections have applied for authority to work in the country.

This emerges after Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi indicated that top South Africa advocates Jeremy Gauntlet, Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi had not sought clearance from him to represent Chamisa in his case.

Senior MDC Alliance official and former Education minister David Coltart insisted yesterday that the lawyers had made their application as far back as last Friday.

"An application was made on Friday for Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett SC QC to argue a portion of the Chamisa case. We trust that the application will be granted urgently. Anything less will be a travesty," Coltart said on twitter yesterday.

The claims by Coltart that Gauntlett had made the application was also confirmed by exiled former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo who also took to Twitter to post the respected barrister's supposed letter to Ziyambi seeking to be given authority to partake in the court proceedings.

The letter Moyo posted was accompanied by the comment "Ziyambi Ziyambi is either being dishonest or malicious and if neither apply, then he is ignorant".

"A letter from #Chamisa lawyers was delivered to & received by his office on Friday 17 Aug 2018. A Justice minister should speak through facts, not propaganda!" Moyo tweeted.

In the August 17, letter written by Chamisa's lawyers Atherston and Cook, the attorneys requested for a ministerial certificate for Gauntlett in terms of Section 7 of the Legal Practitioners Act (Chapter 27:07).

"We make this application for a ministerial certificate to your office in terms of Section 7 of the Legal Practitioners Act (Chapter 27:07) which provides for the issuance of a certificate of exemption by the minister," the letter reads in part.

Chamisa's lawyers submitted that the subject matter was complex as it relates to "evidentiary issues that are not ordinarily addressed in usual court cases."

"Because of the sophisticated and specialised nature of the case, we intend to instruct an advocate with expertise that we expect to be applied in advancing our client's interests," the attorneys requested, adding that "the legal practitioner whom we have identified is Advocate Jeremy John Gauntlett SC and QC who lives and practices law in South Africa."

The South African pair of Mpofu and Ngcukaitobi arrived on Friday and met with the MDC-Alliance local legal ensemble fronted by Advocate Thabani Mpofu.

In an interview with the State media, Ziyambi said it was impossible for the South African pair to practice in "our courts without permission."

He said by close of business on Friday, he had not received any request from Mpofu and Ngcubkaitobi for permission to practice in the country.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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