Sunday, July 27, 2014

(NEWZIMBABWE) Gwisai starts workers’ law firm, no capitalists

20/01/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

FIREBRAND social and economic justice activist and International Socialist Organisation (ISO) general coordinator Munyaradzi Gwisai has registered his own law firm which act mainly for aggrieved workers.

Gwisai has teamed up with fellow lawyers, Advocate Edzai Matsika and Tawanda Katsuro to form Munyaradzi Gwisai and Partners legal practitioners.

“We have just got our practising certificate starting in January so we officially started work on the 13th of January,” Gwisai told at the weekend.

The dreadlocked labour lawyer admitted he was pushed into establishing his own law firm after donor funding dried out within the Zimbabwe Labour Centre, a donor funded legal aid clinic where the lawyers had been practising.

“We have been working under the Zimbabwe Labour Centre, which is a legal aid but then it has become difficult running it now because of economic pressures,” said Gwisai.

“The law firm will continue doing the work that we were doing at the Zimbabwe Labour Centre but also in a way that is economically sustainable.

“Part of the problem of a legal aid clinic is it ends up relying on well-wishers, on donors. So that is not a sustainable way of doing work.

“The law firm only creates a platform that allows us to continue to assist and represent working people and ordinary people so we actually call it Working People’s Chambers.

“It’s a different kind of law firm from any other law firm you are going to have in this country. It’s not a law firm that you are going to find representing employers or capitalists. This is a working people’s law firm.

“We are a law firm that realises that ordinary people are unable to afford legal representation. We are an ideologically driven law firm. We do a lot of work in defence of the working poor and also human rights work.”

Born Enoch Chikweshe, the 45 year old MDC founding legislator for Highfields, has been registered lawyer since 1995.

The University of Zimbabwe labour law lecturer also draws part of his experience through practice under UZ’s legal aid clinic.



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