'We told Chidyausiku to defy land seizure rulings'

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has confessed to giving the late retired Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku unconstitutional Executive orders to okay the seizure of white-owned farms.

Commenting on the tenure of Chidyausiku — who has been declared a national hero and is set to be interred at the national Heroes Acre on Saturday — Mugabe said the top jurist ruled for Zimbabwe’s planned seizure of thousands of white-owned farms that violated international law and that the Supreme Court had ruled should be halted immediately.

In an unprecedented move, Chidyausiku, who was then judge president, overturned a ruling by then Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay that government should take all measures to protect the possessions and property of white farmers who challenged the legality of the contested land reform programme.

Mugabe said Chidyausiku’s prosecution of the highly-controversial land revolution meant he needed to be accorded national hero status, insisting “we could not just throw him into a pit”.

“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.

He added that the decision to honour the retired chief justice was arrived at after advice from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

Chidyausiku, whose tenure was both eventful and controversial, died in a South African hospital last Wednesday where he was receiving medical attention for liver and kidney related problems.

Mugabe said he worked with Chidyausiku for the success of the land reform that started in 2000 and replaced white, commercial farmers with landless blacks.

The move has led to the collapse of Zimbabwe’s once prosperous agricultural sector, pushing millions to the edge of famine.

“ . . . hanzi imhosva vari kuenda vachinogara mumaparazi evarungu, imhosva. Ndikati aiwa havabatwe, vari kungodemonstrator chete. (They said it was wrong that blacks were taking over farms occupied by whites but I said ‘no, it’s not a crime, they are merely demonstrating’),” Mugabe said while addressing mourners at Chidyausiku’s residence on Sunday.

The nonagenarian added that he then decided the best way forward.

“Tikaona zvino, aiwa nyaya dzedu dzakufamba zvakanaka. (We then saw that our issues were being well articulated by the Judiciary).

“Nepfungwa dzedu dzichiwirinawo nehutongi hwanga huripo….nzira yedu yavhurwa panyaya dzeland reform (We then saw that our policy was aligned to the thinking of the Judiciary and that a way had been created for the land reform programme).”

Kent University law lecturer Alex Magaisa described Chidyausiku as a politician who became a judge but a judge who never forgot his politics.

“There can be no doubt that the most significant legacy of the Chidyausiku era is encapsulated in his work on the land question,” Magaisa said.

“ . . . As chief justice and head of the Judiciary, Chidyausiku was right at the centre of this revolution, and his pivotal role earned him numerous accolades and eternal praise from the ruling party and complete disdain from the farming community that was displaced from the land.”

Magaisa further described the Chidyausiku-era as a time when the Judiciary “was strongly aligned to government and its policies”.

“ . . . To call him a judge of the revolution would therefore be an apt description. Two cases aptly demonstrate the central role played by Chidyausiku as the utility player in the prosecution of the highly controversial land revolution.

“Government needed a friendlier Supreme Court at a time when it was carrying out the historic land reform process. Unsurprisingly, opposition and civil society groups have always complained about the lack of judicial independence.”

Comments (11)

Ya thats the way this thieving and murderous zanu pf mafia government works.The old dictator appoints his stoogies in strategic positions and these hapless stoogies must play ball or else they are discarded like dirt.Chidyausiku played ball by overturning a ruling that had been made by Justice Antony Gubbay after he had been forced to resign by the nonagenarian. Its a mafia organisation that can even eat its own children when the going gets tough.Thats the reason why this cruel dictator declared Chidyausiku a national hero.Mugabe is the "national"

Janana wa Bikaz - 9 May 2017

Whether one is thrown into a pit or whatever it doesn't matter, kufa kufa chete unfortunately. There's no evidence to suggest that chidyausiku knows he's been buried at 'mugabe's acre'. Does it even matter anyway, this old man is definitely not right upstairs instead of resting you're 93 come on when are you going to rest. Nyika irikutongwa nemapiritsi chete apa, we should never expect anything to work out in our beloved country as long as 'mapiritsi' and the evil zanu are still in office.

misty - 9 May 2017

Manje nhasi wafira munyika yevarungu yako wasiya. Kuzvitonga kwacho kuti papi?

Zuze - 9 May 2017

Whichever way land was supposed to be taken from the settlers especially in the event there were some intending to throw spanners in the works, the move would get my support. The issue is not that the white settlers were disposessed of "their farms". The issue is who got those farms taken from the settlers and how many ? I have a bit of problem with the Daily News when they report on stories concerning land. Instead of them focussing on the issue of land looting by Zanu-PF thugs they write giving an impression that land acquisition was wrong. By so doing you actually credit Mugabe and his thugs who looted for themselves and their cronies. Land was never for the foreigners, yesterday, tomorrow or in eternity. land is for the people of Zimbabwe, the indegenous black Zimbabweans irregardless of their social or financial status. it may sound like a chorus from Mugabe`s hym book but the difference is very clear. In Mugabe`s hym book land is for Zimbabweans as long as he is shouting to the British. When it comes home to the actual facts land is for him and his cronies.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 9 May 2017


dofo - 9 May 2017

This was the worst thing to happen in this country to take someone 's property which was against the law . This was a political gimmick and some fools like Chidlabusuku supported it . Now we are left with large trunks of land unused and useless . They was no reason what soever to destroy white owned farms which were fully used and feeding the nation . People should be matured enough to see political gimmicks No person can say the land reform was good bcoz now we all see its effects .bcoz of this CHIDYAUSIKU who failed to lawfully protect private properties . He must be in hell right now Thank you god .

Diibulaanyika - 10 May 2017

THOUGH I M NOT A MUGABE SUPPORTER .....THIS ONE IS A TRUE HERO RATHER THAN some of THOSE WE SAW BEING HEROED....the land reform programme changed lives of Zimbabweans ,correcting colonial injustices and i would want say that dont worry of low production right now because we are still at a revolutionary phase...fighting sanctions thereof, we need to finance ourselves as blacks,

the patriot - 10 May 2017

when whites took the land they were supported by their government ,when we took back our land our govt was given sanctions disabling it on supporting us.....CHIDYAUSIKU IS CERTAINLY A HERO who legally supported us while our govt is struggling to financially support us ...GOD WILL HELP US

the patriot - 10 May 2017

Nonsense whites never took developed land from anyone they took bushes and developed them into farms why did not your Mugabe take bushes we have a lot of undeveloped bushes in this country . Thugs will never be heroes only thugs can see thugs as heroes .The very farmers you chased away from your country are doing wonders in next door countries and you are even asking for food from those countries .Proving those who supported that land program are insane .

Dave - 10 May 2017

These so called 'colonial injustices' are so exegerated especially on land issue. If indeed there was an imbalance why was it not addressed in 1980 at Independence. When they eventually did it in 2000 (after losing to MDC on the Referandum) only zanupf thugs got that land Mugabe never wanted land redistributed. Chidyausiku was a utility player on the land grab that resultantly took the Country into a deep hole. He is NOT A HERO if anything he is as evil as the rest of the zanupf cabal.

Sinyo - 10 May 2017


niang - 10 May 2017

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