THE Advocates Committee on Wednesday ordered the removal of the name of Ms Fatma Karume from the roll of advocates of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) over professional misconduct.
The decision to order the removal of the seasoned lawyer from the roll of advocates of TLS was reached by the Committee composed of four members led by a High Court Judge after deliberating on a complaint that was filed by the Solicitor General.
Following the decision, the Registrar of the High Court shall send to the Court of Appeal or High Court, as the case may be, for each East African country a certified copy of the order as to the removal of the name of the advocate from the roll.
Responding to the decision, Ms Karume briefly said: "I don't care. Did you expect decisions any other than that?"
Her advocate Peter Kibatala said, however, that he was aggrieved by the decision, adding that he was discussing with his client to appeal to the High Court.
"This decision is appealable before the High Court composed of three judges. The rules allow us to appeal. So, we are waiting for a copy of the decision and then I will discuss with my client on the next course of action," he said without going into details because the matter was held in camera.
In its verdict delivered at a meeting held at the High Court in Dar es Salaam and confirmed by both parties, the committee found Ms Karume guilty of going against the professional ethics on a number of issues after considering the evidence tendered in favour of the complaint.
The committee's decision came just a day after the law firm she served for several years as among senior members of the bar, IMMMA Advocates, announced to end their partnership with Ms Karume for undisclosed reasons.
The order for removal from the roll of advocates also comes hardly year when Principal Judge of the High Court of Tanzania, Dr Eliezer Feleshi, temporarily suspended Ms Karume from practicing for allegedly issuing unprofessional and disrespectful submissions in court.
Dr Feleshi imposed the ban when he was delivering a ruling in a constitutional petition lodged by ACT-Wazalendo Ideology, Publicity and Public Communications Secretary Ado Shaibu against President, Dr John Magufuli and Attorney General Prof Adelardus Kilangi.
"I hereby suspend Ms Fatma Karume, Roll No. 848 from practicing under section 22 (2) (b) of the Advocates Act pending the reference of the professional misconduct matter to the Advocates Disciplinary Committee," he declared.
Ms Karume is alleged to have acted unprofessionally and disrespectfully by advancing personal vindications to the Solicitor General and the Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania when the parties were presenting submissions on preliminary points of objections against the petition.
The judge acted on complaints raised by state lawyers from the Solicitor General's Office, following the language used by Ms Karume in her submissions when responding to the points raised by the Head of State and the AG, who were respondents in the petition in question.