PROMINENT Zimbabwean lawyer Sternford Moyo is flying high — literally and figuratively. He has been traversing the world as International Bar Association (IBA) president — from Harare to Singapore and London.
Prior to that, he was in Paris and Vienna, among other places. This week, Moyo witnessed the opening of the legal year for England and Wales.
The service in Westminster Abbey dates back to 1897 when judges prayed for guidance at the start of the legal term. Judges, whose courts were held in Westminster Hall, left the city and walked to the abbey to take part in the service.
In the process, Moyo was given the Freedom of the City of London, an award given to high-impact international professional persons across the world. The granting of Freedom Honoris Causa is extremely rare and generally awarded today only to royalty, heads of state or figures of genuine global standing.
From Africa, it has been granted to figures like the late Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu, among many others. Over the last 300 years, about 300 000 ordinary people have been made Free of the City of London.
The benefits of membership are a full programme of social events, ranging from events of historical interest, dinners and receptions in historic locations, to an annual banquet with the Lord Mayor at the Guildhall, and an annual service in the church of St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall.
Moyo has joined that illustrious class of high-profile movers given the Freedom of the City of London.
Besides being IBA president and board member in various companies, Moyo is senior partner and chairperson of Scanlen & Holderness law firm which he joined in 1981 from Mzilikazi High School in Bulawayo where he did his Ordinary and Advanced levels before proceeding to the then University of Rhodesia in 1978.
He completed a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1980 and a post-graduate LLB in 1981. Moyo provides overall leadership in addition to taking special responsibility for mining, commercial and corporate law at the his law firm.
He coordinates all activities in the firm and looks after unallocated functions such as responsibility for non-professional staff. His practice is mostly mining, commercial and corporate law related.
Moyo has advised financial institutions and loan underwriters in most of the large infrastructure projects that have taken place in post-independence Zimbabwe in areas such as forestry, energy, water supply and telecommunications.
Besides, he has provided advice on navigating Zimbabwe’s empowerment laws and has been actively involved in most of the empowerment transactions which have been publicised so far.
He is a former president of both the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community Lawyers’ Association, co-chairperson of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, former chairperson of Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited — a leading commercial bank which is a member of the Standard Bank group, chairperson of Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited, former Zimbabwe Revenue Authority chair and director of Alpha Media Holdings, and PPC Zimbabwe Limited, the largest cement company in Zimbabwe.
He is one of the leading corporate and commercial lawyers in southern Africa. During the early part of his career, he taught corporate, commercial and constitutional law.
He completed the media law advocates training programme run by the University of Oxford.
Moyo graduated with distinction and was named by Butterworths as one of the most outstanding post-graduate law students in 1981. — STAFF WRITER