Profile

Areas of law

• Public Law
• Immigration & Nationality
• Crime
• Civil

Chengetai’s passion for advocacy and human rights started from a very young age. He started off as a pro-democracy campaigner, student activist and a human rights defender in Zimbabwe. He held several elected offices in the students’ union movement in Zimbabwe, namely, President of the University of Zimbabwe Students Union [2001-2002]; Secretary-General [2000-2001] and Human Rights Secretary [1999] of the Zimbabwe National Students Union.

In his various roles as a national student leader Chengetai led several campaigns against the draconian Zanu PF regime led by the late former President Robert Mugabe. Chengetai worked closely with the national workers’ union, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai and other civil society organisations. Those organisations decided to form a political alternative to Zanu PF, the Movement for Democratic Change (“MDC”). The MDC went on to achieve stunning electoral victories against the Mugabe regime in the 2000 Constitutional Referendum and in the June 2000 General Elections (winning 58 out of 120 seats from a standing start) and beyond.

For his troubles, Chengetai was unlawfully arrested and illegally detained on trumped up charges several times. In 2001 Chengetai was banned from studying in Zimbabwe for life on account of his political opinion. He challenged his exclusion on human rights grounds in the High Court of Zimbabwe. The court ordered the University of Zimbabwe (whose Chancellor was none other than the former president Mugabe) to reinstate Chengetai and allow him to sit his final exams and complete his BSc in Sociology and Social Anthropology. The University of Zimbabwe, acting on orders from on high, disregarded the court order. Unable to complete his studies in Zimbabwe, Chengetai came to the UK in 2002 and studied law. His passion for advocacy and human rights has never waned.

Chengetai has a busy practice and regularly appears in the First-tier Tribunal (“FTT”) and Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, County Court, Crown Court and Magistrates’ Courts.

Chengetai’s public law practice primarily involves judicial reviews of immigration decisions, unlawful detention, nationality and long residence matters. He is regularly instructed in urgent applications seeking injunctive relief against removal.

Chengetai’s immigration tribunal work consists of asylum, human rights, deportation, detention, citizenship/nationality, work visas, student visas, family reunion, entry clearance cases etc. Chengetai has vast experience as an advocate at the FTT and the Upper Tribunal starting in 2008.

Chengetai also regularly appears as defence counsel in the Magistrates Courts and the Crown Court. He is regularly instructed to represent defendants facing allegations of violence, public disorder, drugs-related offences, theft and dishonesty, criminal damage, etc.

Chengetai’s civil practice involves breach of contract matters, claims for damages, challenging CCJs, etc in the small Claims Court and the County Court.

Chengetai is eligible to take work on a Direct Access basis and has the right to conduct litigation.



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