The Sunday Mail
ESTABLISHING a law firm is no mean feat; the task becomes even more onerous in the middle of a global pandemic.
It is a task that requires courage and tenacity, characteristics Ms Tsungirirai Marufu (32) has exhibited with distinction.
In 2021, at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, she successfully set up Marufu Attorneys at Law, a firm that is already impacting the lives of women and girls.
Determined to realise her dream, Ms Marufu was undeterred by the turmoil that enveloped the entire world, and refused to allow the circumstances to determine her destination.
Her eyes were always set on establishing a platform to assist the marginalised in the community. Armed with a law degree and having completed the compulsory pupillage training, supervised by the Council for Legal Education, Ms Marufu was driven to set up her own law firm.
Blessed with excellent legal research and leadership skills, she is using her talent for the benefit of the community. She is volunteering to help women and girls, especially those affected by inheritance disputes and domestic violence.
She says her number one desire is to see justice prevail for the marginalised. This goes back to the time she worked with the children’s rights protection group Justice for Children.
Her work included offering free legal advice to women and children in remote parts of the country through a help desk and mobile legal aid clinics.
Since 2018, she has been volunteering with the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association by working with stakeholders to influence decision-making on matters relating to women and girls.
“I also advise women on business ownership and the law because I believe economic empowerment is the gateway to full emancipation of women,” she told The Sunday Mail last week.
“I also believe that, as women, we deserve seats on the table, not just to add the numbers, but because our voice is important.”
Despite her involvement in the demanding task of conducting research for the World Bank on ease of doing business in the country, Ms Marufu continues to serve the marginalised with distinction and unbridled tenacity.
In her line of duty, she has assisted poor and disadvantaged children to access shelter and other basic amenities.
She is also involved in engaging communities to strengthen their knowledge of children’s rights. In addition, she has represented many clients in maintenance, custody, adoption and guardianship matters in courts.
“So, while Zimbabwe has made strides in promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, women still face a number of challenges, including domestic violence.
“Through my experience, I have learnt that domestic violence is largely a hidden crime, occurring behind closed doors.
“Most victims hesitate to disclose domestic abuse as it is usually perpetrated by people very close to them and, as a result, most perpetrators get away with it.”
Assisting clients locked in inheritance disputes is also part of her work.
While the law provides that the surviving spouse must retain matrimonial property in the event of the death of a partner, Ms Marufu said she continues to handle cases where women face the threat of losing such assets to their late husbands’ relatives.
A holder of a Master’s degree in Corporate Law and a Law Honours degree from the University of South Africa, Ms Marufu boasts vast experience she has attained over the years.
Her work includes all-round client consultancy, representing clients in courts, as well as drafting pleadings and administering estates and wills.
“I also do research for the World Bank on the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe,” she added.
“My role is to do research and provide indicators on regulation for starting businesses, registering property, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency, among other things.”