Mugabe declares Chidyausiku national hero

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have declared the late former long-serving Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, a national hero.

Chidyausiku died in a South African hospital last Wednesday where he was receiving medical attention for liver and kidney-related problems.

He left the bench at the end of February 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.

Addressing mourners at Chidyausiku’s residence yesterday evening, Mugabe said declaring the late jurist national hero was not difficult as he had distinguished himself in his job, including supporting Zanu PF and government interests.

“Considering the way we worked with him, the way he supported our interests, the values of the war of liberation, we found it fit to confer him with a hero’s status,” Mugabe said, adding that Chidyausiku was a respectable, humble and honest person.

Chidyausiku who left behind 10 children will be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Saturday.

His brother Boniface yesterday narrated how the late former chief justice complained of stomach pains in the last few days before he died.

He said doctors in Harare had told him that his liver was no longer functioning before they referred him to other doctors for a second opinion, after they realised that he was not responding to medication.

Boniface said Chidyausiku was later airlifted to South Africa with the assistance of the government following advice from Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Constantino Chiwenga who had noticed his deteriorating condition.

Chidyausiku’s 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-know 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.

Comments (7)

We would like to know how much was spent on the airlift to SA as well as other expenditure by government its the tax-payer's money otherwise whoever authorised the move must foot the bill. The late CJ was a zanupf apologist who handed down some controversial judgements that led to the ruining of the country's economy ie the chaotic land grab. Thats all we will remember him for plus that he was an MP in the Rhodesian era.

Sinyo - 8 May 2017

A splendid opportunity tp lash at the Opposition from the top of Warren Hills.

selele - 8 May 2017

There you have it - "he supported Zanu PF values and interests..." which are? Looting, murder and torture, rigging elections? What a legacy.

Sagitarr - 8 May 2017

A judge worth his/her salt will be angry at Mugabe's statement that he accorded Hero Status because he supported their (Mugabe)'s political interests . He was indeed a fake lawyer! Go and meet those whom you denied justice1

dick mboko - 8 May 2017

He was declared zanu pf national hero not hero to the whole nation bcoz this guy was not professional he turned a blind eye to zanu turning this country to a lawless one . People lost their farms which they bought with their hard earned cash which the constitution did not support . He even got a farm which was unlawfully taken from its owner by zanu and given to him so that he could clearly showing that he would protect thuggery . He forced this country to go to elections in 2013 which he knew were tempered with by zanu and NIKAV . The list is endless and that makes the whole nation left with no doubt that he is not a national hero but a zanu national hero .

Diibulaanyika - 8 May 2017

You kill and declare national hero kkkk muno shamisa

Bona - 8 May 2017

The death of a WORST CHIEF JUSTICE OF ZIMBABWE MUST NEVER BE MISSED BUT CELEBRATED BY ALL POSITIVE THINKING CITIZEN. The appointment of Godfrey Chidyausiku was full of controversy since he replaced a Chief Justice forced into retirement to pave way for the most controversial land reform that turned into the last nail on the Zimbabwe economy. He must be called the butcher man of the Zimbabwean politics. With him on the bench, Robert Gabriel Mugabe had no fear of what the judgment would be for any dispute. Indeed he was Hero for Robert Mugabe. He introduced terms in judiciary such as judgement reserved. In those cases where judgment got reserved, ZANU PF or a ZANU politician would have lost. Many countless opposition supports died, no one was ever tried. There was no enquiries opened for any wrong doing perpetuated by ZANU PF or Mugabe. Chidyausiku was the worst CJ I have ever heard.

amina - 9 May 2017

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