In appealing deregistration, Fatma obtains TLS support

07Oct 2020
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
In appealing deregistration, Fatma obtains TLS support

​​​​​​​MEMBERS of the Governing Council of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) have vowed to provide full support to advocate Fatma Amani Karume, who is appealing against a ruling by the Advocates Committee of the Judiciary to deregister her as an advocate of the High Court.

Fatma Amani Karume.

TLS president Dr Rugemeleeza Nshala said in a statement yesterday that the bar association will avail the prominent activist all the legal support at its disposal to overturn the verdict of the Judiciary committee.

The ruling will be contested before a panel of three judges of the High Court, after the move on October 2, where the governing council deliberated on the ruling of the Judiciary committee regarding Application No 19 of 2019.

“The Governing Council noted the reasons given by the Advocates Committee from which it found Fatma Amani Karume guilty of gross professional misconduct,” the TLS leader noted.

“Among many things that one sees upon reading the said ruling, the Governing Council noted and was perturbed by the manner in which the complaint was lodged afresh by the Attorney General before the Advocates Committee,” he said.

Tls noted that the issue had been subject to a court ruling and the directive of principal judge Dr Eliezer Feleshi in the case of Ado Shaibu, where the applicant cites the president of the United Republic and two others as respondents, in Miscellaneous Civil Cause No 29 of 2018.

The principal judge directed the Registrar of the High Court to “refer the professional misconduct matter contained in petitioner's reply submission and respondents' rejoinder submission together with this ruling to the Advocate Disciplinary Committee for determination.”

TLS is also concerned with the composition of the Advocates Committee of the Judiciary to adjudicate the complaint lodged before it by the Attorney General against Fatma Amani Karume, noting that there was a ‘high likelihood of bias.’

Similarly at issue is the reception of electronic evidence in the course of the proceedings, saying that the substance of the evidene was not attached to the complaint or in the List of Documents to be Relied Upon (if any), he stated.

The TLS governing council similarly has questions to pose on the severity of the punishment and the implications of the ruling to advocacy and independence of the legal profession in the Mainland.

“The Governing Council, through the TLS president, contacted Fatma Amani Karume who informed it that she is thoroughly dissatisfied with the said ruling and she is ready to appeal against it. The governing council, mindful of its noble duty imposed upon it by section 4(1)(d) of the Tanganyika Law Society Act Cap 307 R.E. 2002 (as amended) which requires it ‘to represent, protect and assist members of the legal profession in Tanzania as regards conditions of practice and otherwise’ resolved unanimously to rend its support to its member, Fatma Amani Karume,” the TLS statement underlined.