IBA slams Mahoso

THE International Bar Association (IBA)’s Human Rights Institute says criticisms of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) by Tafataona Mahoso betrays ignorance of the role of such a body.

Justice Richard Goldstone, co-chairman of the IBA Human Rights Institute and also a

retired South African Constitutional Court judge, said for a Law Society to face criticism from a government-appointed official for carrying out its essential role carries all the outcomes of a threat.

In a statement released by the IBA last week, Justice Goldstone said the LSZ was a democratic and independent institution performing a very necessary role in a particularly difficult period in Zimbabwe’s history.

“The LSZ should be completely separate from the executive, accountable to the law, and above all else to the nation’s constitution.

The IBA said Mahoso’s tirade displays a limited understanding of matters of law.

The IBA’s executive director, Mark Ellis, said the recent virulent criticism of the LSZ was unacceptable.

“The criticisms levelled against the LSZ by Tafataona Mahoso display both a level of ignorance as regards the role of a Law Society, and a somewhat selective and limited understanding of matters of law,” Ellis said in a statement in response to Mahoso’s tirades in the Sunday Mail.

Mahoso, who is chairman of the government-appointed Media and Information Commission, asserted in an article that the LSZ is little more than a puppet of Western organisations with an agenda to return Zimbabwe to the days of colonial rule. As part of his argument, he derides the LSZ’s statement condemning the 2005 parliamentary election as being “prejudicial and prejudiced”.

In two articles in his weekly column, African Focus, Mahoso railed at the LSZ for working in cahoots with Western powers to bring about regime change.

Mahoso vented his anger at the LSZ for condemning the government currency blitz, launched in conjunction with the Reserve Bank. — Staff Writer.