THE Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has taken a keen interest in reports that rich and politically exposed persons are bribing their way to obtain law qualifications at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).
Section 53(g) of the Legal Practitioners Act provides that the LSZ shall encourage and promote the study of law and jurisprudence.Last month, a UZ law degree examination paper leaked, lifting the lid on corruption at the faculty.
Students at the university had previously clashed with lecturers at the law faculty over the Bachelor of Substantive Laws (BLS), where the recent exam paper leak was traced to.
Harare police provincial intelligence officer Superintendent Vigai Maunganidze is out on bail following his arrest after he was allegedly caught with a leaked UZ law examination paper.It is alleged that Maunganidze, who was supposed to sit for the exam, shared the paper via WhatsApp with Madombi, a Defence ministry official and third-year BLS student at UZ.
Madombi allegedly shared the examination paper with Zanu PF director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi.
LSZ said it was demanding answers over reports of corruption in the law faculty at UZ.
“The LSZ has not been formally made aware of the alleged examination leakage at the UZ law faculty,” LSZ corporate communications officer Richard Chidza said in an emailed response to The Standard on Friday.“The Society has, however, taken the initiative to write to the university requesting further information on the alleged leakage and the extent thereof in order to take an informed position on the issue.”
Section 53(g) of the Legal Practitioners Act which gives the Law Society of Zimbabwe the statutory objects for its existence provides that the Society shall encourage and promote the study of law and jurisprudence.
Under the Legal Practitioners Act, the LSZ regularly visits law faculties across the country to assess the content and structure as well as administration of the law degree.
It also inspects their general infrastructure as it relates to the administration of the law degree.
“The LSZ once favoured with details of the alleged examination leakage by the university, will be engaging these key stakeholders to discuss the issue as well as to find lasting solutions that will make sure the integrity of the profession is protected,” Chidza added.
In April this year, Zanu PF legislator Dexter Nduna, a BLS student, wrote to the UZ administration protesting the way the BLS programme was being run.
This was after the BLS programme was moved from being a part-time programme to full-time studies.
This publication gathered that BLS students have also engaged speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda over the matter.
“This letter is written on the advice of the Hounourable Jacob Mudenda, the speaker of Parliament who has consulted Professor Paul Mapfumo, the vice chancellor of the UZ on the matter raised therein,” Nduna wrote in a follow-up letter dated June 22, 2022.
“I therefore ask for consideration by the UZ dean of law faculty to be indulgent regarding the plight of BLS students who wish to attend weekend lessons.”
The letter was copied to UZ law faculty dean Innocent Maja, Mapfumo as well as Mudenda.
“Further to the above, the students could not also attend lectures for the basic language module which were being held during the week and were not accorded the opportunity to attend lectures during weekends,” Nduna wrote.
“Consequently, they could not sit for the basic language module examinations and have not been able to attend lessons for the intermediate language module hence I do not foresee them writing the examination for this module under the present circumstances.
“In this regard, I seek your indulgence on behalf of my fellow students and colleagues to that effect so that all students can write the missed BLM examination and have lectures during weekends.
“This is my humble plea.
In 2018, former UZ vice chancellor Levy Nyagura was arrested on charges of abusing his authority to award former first lady Grace Mugabe a PHD degree in 2014.