By Byron Mutingwende
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has awarded Ms Rachel Chibaya, the Founder and Senior Partner of R. Chibaya Law Chambers in Harare for her role in inspiring other women by providing first-class professional and comprehensive legal services to individuals and corporates.
The Head of the R. Chibaya Law Chambers specialises in civil litigation, labour and family law. However, she is more biased towards property law, registration of securities, transfer of immovable properties and notary public. Advocate Chibaya worked as a Professional Assistant for three years at Muunganirwa and Associates and later for two years at Sawyer and Mukushi Legal Practitioners respectively before she opened her own firm.
For her impressive work, Ms Chibaya emerged as the runner-up of the prestigious ZNCC Women in Enterprise Conference and Awards under the Service Industry (law firm) category.
Ms Rachel Chibaya is a holder of LLB Honours Degree in Law from the University of Zimbabwe. She is a member of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and is registered with all courts in Zimbabwe as a legal practitioner.
Lawyer Chibaya has changed the perception of women in the workplace in many ways by showing exemplary leadership and vision and inspiring women to sharpen their skills so as to grow their businesses.
“At R Chibaya Law Chambers, we give equal opportunities to women and men. We offer competitive salaries to women and men employed at the law firm that I head. I inculcate exemplary leadership and vision through setting strict targets and goals and being able to meet them on time.
“As a reputable lawyer, I have managed to network with key stakeholders which led to a broader base of clientele, contributing to the growth of the business at large. Most Zimbabweans look down upon women-led businesses. They believe that such businesses do not prosper. I have defied the odds and am currently among the women running successful law firms in the country,” Advocate Chibaya said with an aura of confidence.
She upholds good corporate governance and endeavours to bring world-class standards to Zimbabwe in her line of work.
“I have managed to set up a state-of-the-art law firm with a reliable website and a comprehensive company profile. My employees are highly professional and presentable. I use my social media platforms to provide more information about the law firm and myself.
“As a young lady, I have managed to run the firm into a middle size within a period of three years. I participated in the outreach programme towards the drafting of the current Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe. As a woman, I feel I have inspired most young women to start and excel in business without hesitation or fear. I am professional and smart. I started from humble beginnings but managed to achieve a lot within the legal profession,” Ms Chibaya said.
The lawyer participates in pro-bono cases, which she handles through the High Court of Zimbabwe and various non-governmental organisations that represent women’s rights. She is also involved in charity golf tournaments with Emerald Hill School for the Deaf and Children’s Home in her personal capacity.
“I strive to create opportunities for most female intern law students from various universities in Zimbabwe and abroad. I am currently enrolling two female students every year on an attachment or internship basis,” she said.
The Senior Professional Assistant to Ms Chibaya is Mr Vusumuzi Bhebhe who is a graduate of the Midlands State University with an LLB Honours Degree. He graduated with a First Class LLB Honours Degree and was awarded the Midlands State University Book prize and the Gundu & Dube Award in November 2016.
The law firm has also taken on board Mr Adrian Tanaka Terry Mbotshwa who is a graduate from the University of Zimbabwe with an LLB Honours in September 2017. He is a registered Legal Practitioner, Conveyancer and Notary Public.
Ms Chibaya is a great personality with an awesome ambition to attain the best and be a leader. For someone who grew up in the remote area of Mwenezi and was brought up by a widow to be where she is today is certainly amazing.
“I have managed to break the ceiling of limitation thrust upon the girl child with a rural background by the male chauvinistic society. I am a Trustee for a number of organisations including the Gaza Cultural Trust, the Excellence Trust and the Single Mothers’ Foundation. It is also pleasing that I am a Council Member of the Women’s University in Africa – a citadel of education that thrives on empowering women academically,” Ms Chibaya added.
Ms Rachel Chibaya was born in Harare in 1983 and she relocated to Mwenezi at the age of 10 when her father, the late Assistant Inspector Zacheus Chibaya who was stationed at ZRP Chikurubi Support Unit died in 1993. She is proud to have been brought up well by her mother, Mrs Lucky Xaba-Chibaya, who worked tirelessly to send her and her four siblings to good schools.
She attended Mwenezi Government High School and Chegato High School for her Ordinary and Advanced Level studies respectively. She was among the students who enrolled with the former Great Zimbabwe University for her law studies. The institution was later shut down and eventually, she and other law students were transferred to the University of Zimbabwe where they completed their degrees. Ms Chibaya endured all the years and finally it has paid for her. She is a proud mother of two beautiful girls!