Saturday, 24 January 2015

Fortune Chasi turns to Law practice

HARDLY a month after being fired from his job as deputy justice minister, Fortune Chasi has already found something new to do. He has joined The Chambers, a group of high cut attorneys based at Old Mutual Centre in Harare where he is one of the advocates.

Fortune Chasi
He says his experience at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe where he worked for several years coupled with his stint as a government minister had encouraged him to pursue law practice specialising in representing the disadvantaged members of society who cannot afford to pay legal fees.

“While most of my working experience was in the realm of banking, I have lots of interest in other branches of law. In particular, I have an interest in public interest litigation, public law and constitutional law. In this regard, I would like to engage in legal aid work such as representing persons who cannot afford legal fees,” he said.

He speaks so passionately of the time he spent in government. “The Reserve Bank is a great institution which, from a professional point of view, gives one a global overview of the intricacies of the world, continental, regional and local economy. It also allows one to breach the professional dividea and occasionally stray into all other fields. I amassed a lot of experience which will be handy in my current work as an advocate,” he said.

“My purpose in getting into politics and government was primarily to get an opportunity to apply my skills for the benefit of my country, Zimbabwe. I am an avid believer in the precept that Zimbabwe is as good as the people who make it.”

Chasi also said he derived satisfaction from serving. “In my short stint I worked with many highly-skilled and competent professionals who could easily cross over into the private sector and make much more than they do presently and yet they choose to serve,” he said.

In the practice of law in Zimbabwe, legal professionals work either in a law firm or as advocates. The difference is that under the first structure, lawyers interface with clients directly while advocates have the lawyers in the law firms as clients.
Advocates do not work directly with clients but they instead get briefings or instructions from lawyers in the law firms. Law firms become advocates’ clients.

For those who wish to serve in political parties and government, Chasi has some advice. “My advice is that those who desire to join government as ministers need to have a fallback position. They have to be some professionals of some sort or they should be running a business so they can retreat to either their business or profession in case of eventualities. The absence of such a fallback position induces a sense of entitlement which normally results in vicious fights for positions in political parties with a view to landing lucrative ministerial positions,” he said. “In my case, the options are indeed numerous and I have chosen to go back into the law. I still believe there are many ways of serving the country.”

Chasi is a holder of several degrees including Bachelor of Law (BL HONS), (UZ); Bachelor of Laws (LL.B HONS)(UZ), Masters in International Law (LLM) from Essex University; Masters in International Relations; (UZ). He is also reading for a Masters in International Business Law with the University of Cumbria at Robert Kennedy College. – Fin Gaz
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