Senior lawyer Puwayi Chiutsi faces possible deregistration after a tribunal set up to investigate allegations of misconduct levelled against him, including fraud, concluded that his “conduct was unprofessional, dishonourable, and unworthy and unbefitting of a legal practitioner”.
The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) instituted investigations into Chiutsi, who registered as a lawyer in 1992, following accusations he knowingly sold land that had been repossessed from him by the Sheriff of the High Court.
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The tribunal, chaired by Justice Felistus Chatukuta, found that in the case of Chiutsi’s repossessed land known as Remainder of Subdivision C of Lot 6, Highlands Estate, the lawyer sold it well aware that it was under judicial attachment.
The Sherriff had attached the property in 2017 and sold it to Bariadie Investments. Said Justice Chatukuta:
He was aware that the property had been sold in execution. He had filed numerous applications into the High Court and the Supreme Court to have the sale set aside and was unsuccessful in all instances.
The respondent is a principal in his firm and has been practising for 19 years. His defence that the property was his because it had not yet been transferred into the name of the purchaser smacked of disdain of the law.
This comes barely a month after the Law Society of Zimbabwe has deregistered Bulawayo lawyer Lloyd Manokere for double-dipping after representing two parties who had conflicted interests.
Manokere, who is the founder of Manokere Attorneys DLA Piper Africa Zimbabwe, was last month convicted for misconduct after he appeared before a tribunal consisting of justices Felistus Chatukuta and Joseph Musakwa.