Ex-chief justice Chidyausiku dies

HARARE - Former long-serving chief justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, died in a South African hospital yesterday, where he was receiving medical attention for an undisclosed illness.

Chidyausiku left the bench two months ago after he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70, having led the judiciary for 15 years, which included some of the country’s most trying times.

A family member told the Daily News yesterday that funeral arrangements were yet to be made as they were still working to repatriate his body to Zimbabwe.

His recent retirement was blighted somewhat by the ugly rows which erupted over the appointment of his successor, when the selection decidedly took a Zanu PF factional tone, as rival camps fought to install a candidate acceptable to their respective interest groups.

The former chief justice, who was born in February 1947, read law and graduated in 1972, before going into private practice as an advocate.

A little-known fact was that he was an MP in the Rhodesian Parliament, representing the Harare African Roll Constituency.

He later changed course, becoming a Zanu MP in the 1980 elections, also serving briefly as deputy Local Government minister and deputy Justice minister before being appointed Attorney-General in 1982.

Chidyausiku later became a High Court judge in 1987, before being elevated to the position of judge president of the High Court. He became the country’s chief justice in 2001.

He is remembered for handing down a number of controversial rulings during his tenure, including rubber-stamping the unjust closure of the Daily News in 2003, as well as sanctioning the country’s chaotic fast-track land reforms in the early 2000s, which saw white farmers being chased away from their land.

“Chidyausiku’s death is a great loss to the legal fraternity which looked to benefitting from his many years of experience as a jurist.

“I would like to pass my sincerest condolences to his family and the legal fraternity as a whole. May his departed soul rest in eternal peace,” Harare lawyer and opposition MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

Comments (4)

He will be remembered for sanctioning the chaotic land reform programme.

Sinyo - 4 May 2017

Dear Editor We need a better report than what is produced here. Waiva kwaMuzorewa munhu uyu. Chete vanhu vechiZezuru vano chengetana. Havarashani! Chidyausiku was indeed a controversial and sometimes outright ZANU PF judge. He is on record for delivering partisan verdicts. We all know that all the MDC electoral challenges were never concluded after he reserved judgements on all of them. Many people were killed but no one was ever jailed by Chidyausiku. Zvinoita izvozvo Now he dies in a South African hospital after he praised Mugabe destroying his own country. Ko waiti uchandoraphwepi? Kana pension yacho haana kana kumboidya. Now you are going to meet your creator nevanhu vawakaramba kubetsera vachipondwa nomusangano wako weZANU PF. Uchandotsva ukati baba. Vakadzi vawaiita two two uchandoita sei nhaiwe.

dick mboko - 4 May 2017

Dick Mboko sounds like Lameck!

Yowee - 4 May 2017

plz don't degenirate the former Chief justice, he has done his job well during his tenure as chief justice but I also think he might have bn politically inclined & partisan if it was not that he was also fearful of Mugabe & zanu pf on his job & life, if he would ever temper with delivering n fair verdict which might not b needed by zanu pf & Mugabe.He might have bn fearful to suffer the same fate with former chief Guby, the last white man chief justice who suffered the fate of opposing Mugabe

addmore gudo - 5 May 2017

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