Daniel Nemukuyu recently in VICTORIA FALLS
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has stopped sitting as a Supreme Court judge to allow him time to properly manage his two portfolios of being the head of judges and chairman of the Judicial Service Commission. Responding to questions from fellow Chief Justices during the Southern African Chief Justices’ Forum conference here, Chief Justice Chidyausiku said he was now only sitting in the Constitutional Court to ease pressure and to effectively execute his administrative duties.
The foreign judges questioned how he was managing to sit in both the Supreme and Constitutional Courts as well as being the JSC chairman. Chief Justice Chidyausiku said he was now more of a supervisor of other judges. “I no longer sit in the Supreme Court and I now only deal with constitutional issues. This allows me to manage both offices with less pressure.
“In fact, I am now more of a manager who supervises other judges to write judgments, unlike writing them myself,” he said. All along the Chief Justice has been sitting in both courts and he wrote many judgments including the famous Zuva Petroleum case that saw thousands losing jobs on three months notice.
The Chief Justice also told the conference that although he had clashed with his judges over administrative issues like poor performance and delays in handing down judgments, the relationship was cordial. He said although they at times fight in his quest to get the best results from the judges, there was no bad blood.
“My judges and I fight a lot and we developed a good relationship of telling each other the truth and sort ourselves out. “Our relationship is good and we love each other,” he said. In the meantime, the judiciary boss said of the minor problems he had with his judges, none of the complaints warranted removal of a judge from office.
“At the moment, we have no reason to resort to the code of conduct and to have the President set up a tribunal to determine the removal of a judge from office. “We have no such serious cases at the moment and since independence, only two judges have been removed from office,” he said.