By Professor Matodzi
HARARE, December 7, 2015 – The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has honoured veteran human rights lawyer Bryant Elliot, as this year’s winner of the Walter Kamba Rule of Law Award.
Elliot, a lawyer at Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the country’s leading legal defence group was bestowed with the prestigious award on Friday night at a function held in Harare and attended by leading figures in the legal profession in Zimbabwe.
In honouring Elliot, the LSZ said its adjudicators had unanimously agreed that the human rights lawyer was the embodiment of all that Professor Kamba stood for.
The LSZ launched the prestigious award in 2009 to pay tribute to the late Professor Kamba, a renowned scholar, who was the first black Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe. Professor Kamba died in 2008.
Elliot has represented several politicians and human rights activists including MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Dumiso Dabengwa, the former Home Affairs Minister, during the time when he was tormented by President Robert Mugabe’s government in the early 80’s and charged with treason. The human rights lawyer recently represented Dabengwa in a case in which the ZAPU leader sought the enforcement of the Constitution in relation to the holding of elections in Zimbabwe.
Elliot has also represented human rights activist Judith Todd, whom Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede sought to strip of her Zimbabwean nationality some years ago and several other Zimbabweans facing citizenship problems.
Apart from Elliot, other lawyers who have won the Walter Kamba Rule of Law Award include the late Justice Wilson Sandura, the late human rights lawyer Joseph James, Sternford Moyo, a senior partner and chairman of Scanlen and Holderness Legal Practitioners and Alec Muchadehama.
Legal practitioners congratulated Elliot and described him as a long standing soldier who had immensely contributed to the protection and promotion of human rights in Zimbabwe.