Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Members of the Chidyausiku family have described Retired Chief Justice and national hero Retired Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku as a real family man who left a legacy of unity and love. Niece to the national hero and a judge of the Supreme Court Justice Antonia Guvava said Justice Chidyausiku was a loving father who cared for all relatives without distinction.
“He was a father figure to the whole Chidyausiku family,” she said. “Being his brother’s daughter, he would not treat me and the others differently.
“He had great love for the family, generous, and if you are to ask any of the relatives here, they will tell you their sweet stories of love about Justice Chidyausiku.”
Justice Guvava said she learnt a number of lessons from her uncle.
“I learnt to be honest in life through my interaction with him,” she said. “He was a person of incredible integrity, who was fearless. I miss his love and he groomed us well.”
Widow of Justice Chidyausiku Ms Farai Chidyausiku said the death destroyed her happy marriage.
“We were in a lovely happy marriage until the untimely death came,” she said. “My husband was very loving and caring. Considering our age difference, he was at times more of a father to me and it is difficult for me to accept the development.”
Ms Chidyausiku said her husband would always find time for the family, despite his busy schedule as Chief Justice.
Daughter to the jurist Ms Tendai Chidyausiku said her father left a legacy of unity.
“He was a unifier in the family and he loved all of us,” she said. “His love for the family will always be cherished. He left us a legacy of unity and we will maintain it through working together as a family and loving each other.”
Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku, brother to the national hero, described him as a pillar of the family.
“During holidays, he would slaughter a beast and distribute the meat to family members,” he said. “He was generous, firm and a fair man.”
Ambassador Chidyausiku said Justice Chidyausiku was a hard worker and a great farmer.
“Despite his tight schedule as head of the Judiciary, my brother always created time for farming,” he said. “At the time of his death, he had harvested 150 hectares of tobacco and some of it is yet to be harvested.” Justice Chidyausiku died last Wednesday in South Africa after battling with kidney and liver problem. His body was flown into Zimbabwe on Saturday afternoon and he was eventually declared a national hero.
He will be buried on Saturday at the National Heroes Acre.
Justice Chidyausiku retired from the bench on March 1 this year, after serving as head of the judiciary for 16 years. Born on February 23, 1947 in Domboshava, Justice Chidyausiku attended Mutake School at Makumbi Mission, and then St Ignatius College in Chishawasha. He enrolled at the then University of Rhodesia from 1968 to 1972 where he studied law, and went into private legal practice.
At the 1974 general elections, 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 at the 1977 election.
He was Deputy Minister in the then Ministry of Local Government and Housing and of in the Ministry of Justice from 1980, before being promoted to be Attorney-General in 1982.
Chief 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 named as Zimbabwe’s new Chief Justice in July 2001.