Tanzania: Fatma Karume to Challenge Her Deregistration As an Advocate

Dar es Salaam — Fatuma Karume will challenge her removal from being a registered advocate, her lawyer said yesterday.

Peter Kibatala said that he will appeal to the High Court against the decision by the Advocates Committee.

The lawyers' powerful three-member committee - operating under the powers vested in it by the Advocates Act (Cap 141 R.E. 2002) - yesterday struck off the outspoken lawyer-cum-activist from the list of advocates after it found her guilty of gross misconduct. "I cannot say much now because I have not seen the ruling - and that is because proceedings of the committee in question are secret. I am awaiting the ruling but we will appeal," he said.

Insisting that there are enough grounds for filing an appeal, he said the ruling has a lot to do with Ms Karume's reputation as a lawyer and that it was also about her right to work as a lawyer.

On September 20, 2019, the High Court of Tanzania suspended Ms Karume indefinitely from practising law within Mainland Tanzania.

Ms Karume's suspension came after allegations of misconduct following her written submissions in a constitutional challenge to the President's appointment of Prof Adelardus Kilangi as an Attorney General of Tanzania.

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The High Court noted last year that part of Ms Karume's submission was inappropriate - and took the decision to suspend her.

High Court Principal Judge Eliezer Feleshi said Ms Karume's case would be forwarded to the Advocates Committee.

The ruling

In yesterday's ruling, the Advocates Committee, sitting under the chairmanship of Judge Ntime Kilekamajenga, decided to remove Ms Karume's name from the list of advocates in Tanganyika.

Apart from the committee chairman, the other two members were Advocate Genoveva Kato from the Tanganyika Law Society, and the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Biswalo Mganga.

The Committee's secretary was Mr Faraji Ngukah.

The Committee held its meeting at the premises of the High Court of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam, and resolved to expunge Ms Karume from Tanganyika's advocates register.

The Committee's decision comes just two days after the embattled lawyer was sacked by her law firm, IMMMA Advocates in Dar es Salaam for what was said to be her involvement in political activism.

IMMMA claimed that her conduct brought the law firm into disrepute, adversely affecting its business relations with its clients.

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