Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
Former Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has died, barely three months after leaving office. He was 70. Justice Chidyausiku succumbed to liver and kidney complications at a hospital in South Africa yesterday. The senior judge’s brother Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku confirmed the death, saying Justice Chidyausiku had been unwell for close to two months. “Yes, I can confirm the death of my brother,” he said.
“He passed on today (yesterday) in South Africa while receiving treatment.
“He had been unwell for close to two months, but I cannot really tell the cause of death because at the time of death, the doctors were still trying to establish the problem.”
Ambassador Chidyausiku later told ZBCTv News that his brother succumbed to liver and kidney complications.
The Chidyausiku family, he said, was working on repatriating the body for burial.
“We are still working on modalities to repatriate the body for burial,” he said.
“We are still at planning stage and detailed funeral arrangements will be announced later.”
The Herald understands that Justice Chidyausiku was airlifted to South Africa with Government assistance for further treatment on Sunday.
Justice Chidyausiku retired from the bench on March 1 this year when he attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 after serving as head of the judiciary for 16 years.
He was appointed as Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice in July 2001.
Born on February 23, 1947 in Domboshava, Justice Chidyausiku attended Mutake School at Makumbi Mission, and then St Ignatius College in Chishawasha.
He got a place at the then University of Rhodesia from 1968 to 1972 where he read law.
He then went into private legal practice afterwards.
At the 1974 general election, Justice Chidyausiku won the Harare African Roll Constituency, standing with the unofficial support of the African National Council which had been set up by Zanu, Zapu and Frolizi.
He acted in opposition to the government of Ian Douglas Smith.
Justice Chidyausiku stood down from Parliament at the 1977 election.
In the 1980 election, Chief Justice Chidyausiku was elected as the 12th on Zanu-PF’s list for Mashonaland East Province when Zanu-PF won the elections.
He was Deputy Minister in the then Ministry of Local Government and Housing and of Justice from 1980, and was promoted to be Attorney-General in 1982.
Justice Chidyausiku was later promoted to be a judge and served as chair of the Constitutional Commission charged with drafting a new Constitution for Zimbabwe in 2000.
After the resignation of former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay, Justice Chidyausiku was appointed Zimbabwe’s new Chief Justice in July 2001.
Mourners are gathered at number 16855, Ranelagh Road, off Orange Grove Drive, in Highlands, Harare.