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A look at Arbitration Institutions in Zimbabwe

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

A look at Arbitration Institutions in Zimbabwe

By Blessing T Mandima

Blessing T Mandima of Gambe Law Group spoke with Shumirai Nhira,[1] CEO and founder of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Zimbabwe (ADRIZ). This short read gives an insight into the institution and what it has to offer in the Arbitration industry.

ADRIZ was founded in April 2023. Ms Nhira, the founder, noted that the idea for the institution was the need to increase ADR knowledge and reliance in Zimbabwe, as many individuals still prefer to settle conflicts in court.

ADRIZ is claimed to be distinct from other arbitration institutions in Harare because it strives to provide extensive ADR services and provides online services such as virtual arbitration sessions which have not been common in Zimbabwe.

One of the enticing aspects of ADRIZ is that it provides a wide range of ADR services such as conflict resolution training, consultancy, and case evaluation services. Case evaluation assists in determining the apt procedure for handling the dispute be it arbitration mediation, conciliation, or even litigation.

So far, the panel of arbitrators is made up of lawyers with ADR experience and an interest in arbitration. The panel of arbitrators is available on the institution's website. Ms Nhira stated that the institution seeks young and vibrant professionals to serve on the panel of arbitrators who will be efficient in carrying out their duties. ADRIZ aims to resolve issues in an average of three months.

ADRIZ also offers administrative services such as a venue for arbitration at their premises where they hire out the boardroom, starting from as little as $200 a day for arbitration and for preliminary hearings, starting from as little as $60 a day. The parties equally share the costs of hiring out the venue. These services are open to the public and whosoever wishes to use their premises as a venue for arbitration or a preliminary hearing.

One of the major challenges that the institution has faced thus far is market penetration. In Zimbabwe, the most common and oldest institutions are the default choice, and most arbitration agreements will include a clause specifying that those institutions be used. The solution to this problem is to make ADRIZ known to the general public and raise awareness about the new arbitration institution in Zimbabwe and what it has to offer.

As a young woman in the male-dominated arbitration spaces, Ms Nhira is determined to put in the work and promote Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Zimbabwe (ADRIZ) and make a name for herself as an ADR expert and renowned arbitrator who founded a new arbitration institution and filled a gap in Zimbabwe's Arbitration market.

[1]Ms Shumirai Nhira is an experienced arbitrator who was trained at Africa Institute of Mediation and Arbitration (AIMA) She drafted awards on their behalf and perfected the craft of doing so under their guidance and mentorship. Throughout her work experience at A.I.M.A, Ms Nhira was able to learn how to run an arbitration institution on a day to day basis and the mentorship of Justice Chinhengo helped her gain the knowledge necessary for her growth and expansion as an arbitrator and ADR expert. Ms S.Nhira was inspired by the late Justice Mtshiya to pursue this venture and his seal of approval , this motivated her to start her own arbitration institution, ADRIZ.

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