Chinamasa Goes Job Hunting

THE outgoing Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has started looking for a job amid reports that a fortnight ago he approached the Advocates Chambers intending to join them as an advocate, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Impeccable sources in the legal fraternity said the former attorney-general had expressed interest in joining the chambers after he was defeated in the House of Assembly elections on March 29 in Makoni Central by the MDC-Tsvangirai’s John Nyamande.

Nyamande garnered 7 065 votes against Chinamasa’s 4 555.

“There is an expression of interest from Patrick Chinamasa to join the Advocates Chambers,” one of the sources said.

“He will be required to submit it (interest) formally and it will be considered by a committee which will consider a number of things, but most importantly whether there is space to accommodate him.”

The sources, however, could not be drawn to divulge more information on what else they will need to consider before coming up with a decision on Chinamasa’s application.

The committee, the sources said, was divided on whether to accept or reject Chinamasa’s application.

“The committee is divided with some wanting to hire Chinamasa because Zanu PF will bring them big business, while the other group wants nothing to do with him,” the sources said. The Advocates Chambers is a pool of lawyers who offer expert advice and are hired by various law firms to take instructions.

The Chambers’ members fall under the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ), which Chinamasa last month said the government no longer treats as a professional body, but an opposition political party.

Ironically, Chinamasa is also a member of the LSZ.

“Regrettably, they are no longer a professional body and as a Minister of Justice I will no longer treat them as a professional society, but a political opposition party,” said Chinamasa.

Chinamasa was the legal brains behind the government and the chief architect of the Constitutional Amendment No18 that saw the country introducing synchronised presidential, legislative and council elections.

He was Zanu PF’s chief negotiator in the Sadc-initiated dialogue between the ruling party and the MDC.

Chinamasa was one of the first black lawyers in the 1980s to become a partner in Honey & Blankenberg, which at that time was a predominantly white law firm.

President Robert Mugabe appointed Chinamasa a non-constituency legislator and cabinet minister in 2000. He was re-appointed to the same position five years later.

In September 2006, Chinamasa was cleared by a judge of trying to defeat the course of justice after he was accused of trying to stop prosecution of a witness, James Kaunye, from testifying in a case against the Minister of State for National Security Didymus Mutasa who had been accused of inciting public violence in the countdown to the 2005 general election.

By Lucia Makamure

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