The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has found Kwekwe-based lawyer, James Magodora, guilty of misconduct after he allegedly falsely claimed to have represented a client in a property dispute.
The complainant in the matter is Kundai Nyamukondiwa, a property owner at Sabonabona in Kadoma.
He is one of the scores of property owners at Sabonabona who are resisting eviction and are pushing to be issued title deeds to the land sold to them by a now evasive land developer.
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Magodora is alleged to have falsely claimed to be Nyamukondiwa’s lawyer and that of many other affected residents in the property dispute when in actual fact he was never instructed by her to act as her attorney.
LSZ executive secretary, Edward Mapara, last week wrote to Magodora informing him of the outcome of a tribunal set up to investigate the alleged unprofessional conduct. The letter read in part:
Council noted that By-Law 3 (36) of the Legal Practitioners’ Code of Conduct SI 37 of 2018 was clear that it was an act of professional misconduct to act for a client based on instructions from a third party.
Council resolved that you be found guilty of unprofessional conduct for acting on instructions from a third party without satisfying yourself that the person issuing such instructions had proper authority and that you be asked to mitigate.
You are required to file your submissions in mitigation pending sentence (if any) within the next 14 days of this letter.
Failure of which council will deliberate on sentence without further reference to you.
Magodora’s misconduct came to light when Sabonabona residents resolved to negotiate with Balwearie Holdings, who took over as the owners of the disputed property.
Residents learnt that Magodora had filed responses on their behalf without their knowledge or instructions, but he argues he was instructed to act on everyone’s behalf by the one Noel Muza.
Magodora is a former Kwekwe magistrate and senior partner at his law firm who is not new to controversy.