By Daniel Nemukuyu
Harare lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu has written to the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) seeking the censure of MDC-T vice president Mr Obert Gutu for unprofessional conduct.
Mr Gutu is also a lawyer practising under Gutu Chikowero Legal Practitioners.
Adv Mpofu, who was representing the MDC led by Mr Nelson Chamisa in the party logo dispute in Bulawayo last week, successfully sought the recusal of Justice Martin Makonese from hearing the matter.
After the judge’s recusal, he accused the lawyer-cum-politician of communicating falsehoods to the Press about what happened in the Chambers of Justice Makonese.
He allegedly caused publication of stories insinuating that Adv Mpofu had labelled Justice Makonese, a “Zanu-PF judge”.
Adv Mpofu denies ever accusing the judge of being political.
He dismissed Mr Gutu’s media statements as false and an indirect attack on the judge.
Adv Mpofu argued that Mr Gutu’s conduct was tantamount to attacking the person of the honourable judge using other people’s names.
He has instructed his own lawyer, Mr Raymond Moyo of Gill Godlonton and Gerrans, to write to LSZ seeking the censure of Mr Gutu.
“In fact, Mr Gutu attacks the Honourable judge using our client’s name and attributing the attack on our client. Our client takes the view that Mr Gutu must be censured for this conduct. Not only so, he must retract these public statements. His retraction must be given the same prominence as the allegations themselves.”
Mr Gutu’s alleged conduct, according to the lawyers, brought embarrassment to Justice Makonese and legal practitioners.
“It brings the administration of justice into disrepute,” the letter reads. Professor Lovemore Madhuku, who represented the Dr Thokozani Khupe MDC-T faction in Justice Makonese’s Chamber, is said to have also dismissed Mr Gutu’s statements as untrue.
“We are also instructed that Prof Madhuku has acknowledged the falsity of the allegations being made against our client,” reads the letter.
Mr Gutu is also being accused of behaving dishonourably.
“Our client is obviously also aggrieved that a senior member of the legal profession has behaved dishonourably and in an unethical fashion in that quite apart from the falsity of the allegations against our client, he has purportedly sought to publicise what the parties and the judge had dealt with in Chambers,” the letter reads.