Farewell to a faithful servant

President Mugabe’s address to mourners at the burial of National Hero and former Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday

We are gathered here to pay once again our last respects and lay to rest another of our most distinguished and respected comrades, but this time one of the legal minds, former Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.

His death last Wednesday while he was receiving specialist treatment in South Africa caught many of us, including myself, by surprise.

Although aware that he had been unwell for the last two months, little did we know that his illness will deteriorate so rapidly as to claim his life.

On behalf of the party and Government, may I pass my deep condolences and those of the party and the Government to Mai Chidyausiku and the extended family that he has left behind.

Tanzwa nezveupenyu hwake nemunin’ina wake. Takamuziva zvakatinyanyeiwo sezvo aiva mukuru wemajudge edu. Asi taiva nezvekuita naye muhurumende.

Ndaiti nguva yandainge ndamuda ndomudana. Nguva yese yandainge ndamudana aiti akasvika kuState House, aiti ndabva kumunda.

Ndobvunza kuti kumunda kupi? Zvonzi kufarm kwangu. Ini heya, uri kufarmer kupi? Zvikanzi ndine farm kuGoromonzi. Saka aive nehupenyu ihwohwo. Tazonzwa zvazadzikiswa nemunin’ina wake kuti waida kurima fodya zvakakwana.

Ndohwaiva humwe hupenyu hwake, asi isu kwatiri waive gamba rataive naro muzvokutongwa zvehurumende ari kudivi remajudge, wataivimba naye kutidzivirira kunyaya yezveminda izvi nekuti kwanga kuchiine mabhunu vaida kuti zvikanganiswe vachienda kumacourt dakara kusvika nekunaana Britian kwese.

Zvino, kana muine majudge anonzwisisa hupenyu hwenyu, vari vana vevhuwo, vanonzwisisa kuti ivhu rikaenda iri naivowo vanenge vasara vava varombo, vanova nekudzivirira nyika naivo vachiti vari kuzvidzivirira pachavo.

We heard that as a young man, the late Chief Justice was inspired to study Law at a time Africans were at the receiving end of colonial injustice.

Pauniversity apa, handi vese vaibvumirwa kuti vangaita Law. Pauniversity apa, yakanga isiri university yainzi ndeye vanhu vose, kwete. Payakavambwa, yakavambwa ichinzi university, yakanzi ndeye white race yeRhodesia.

Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland – vatema ngaverege kupfuura gumi nemaviri nehalf pazana roga roga (12,5 percent) was the limit allowed to be for Africans in the university.

And that was written in the charter of the university; kuti it should not at any one time/point contain more than 12,5 percent lest more than that percent spoil the culture, the nature of the university.

Mazviona kwatakabvaka? Culture ipi yacho yainzi munonyonganisa?

Well, as victims of colonialism and colonial injustice, men and women found themselves thrown behind bars at either Khami or Chikurubi.

They were banished at political detention centres such as Hwa Hwa, Gonakudzingwa, Sikhombela and Harare Central Prison. The African nationalists were accused of having connections with these politicians.

The white judges, acting in complicity with the oppressive regime, always turned a blind eye to the plight of the Africans so we depended on the few Africans we believed listened to us; we believed had the same feelings as ourselves.

Saka vana Chidyausiku ndivavo vataifunga kuti vanonzwawo isu zvatainzwa.

The late former Chief Justice was one of the few students who were registered to study Law at the University of Rhodesia where the systems heavily discriminated against the African students.

For him, the fight against injustice in this country at that university in itself by nature, discriminated in terms of a charter, so that injustice rubbed on him.

In the 1974 general election, that was before Independence, Chidyausiku contested and won the Harare African roll constituency.

Taitarisira kuti vatema vaipinda imomo muParliament tinozonge tichishanda navo nenzira dzedu dzakasiyana siyana.

As a Member of Parliament, the late Chief Justice found himself ventilating the aspirations of African nationalists. He was in Parliament with the tacit support of the African National Council.

Tainzwanana navo at the time.

Zanu, Zapu and Frolizi ndodzakanga dzabatanidzwa kuti dzive under Bishop Muzorewa’s ANC ka. He was thus a lawyer, a legislator and politician all in one.

When he stood down from Parliament in 1977, the late former Chief Justice continued to work closely from within the country with freedom fighters and the Zanu leadership abroad.

At the Lancaster House Conference, he was part of the legal team that comprised the late National Hero Edson Zvogbo, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, the late Professor Walter Kamba, Dr Simbi Mubako and others.

In the 1980 elections, that is the first elections that we had to usher in our Independence, the late Chief Justice successfully represented Zanu in Mashonaland East Province.

He subsequently served as Deputy Minister of Local Government, Attorney-General and in various other positions as a member of the party before he was ultimately appointed Chief Justice.

As Chief Justice, the late Godfrey Chidyausiku will be remembered for the most important role he played in defending and shaping the course of our Land Reform Programme.

When we embarked on the Third Chimurenga, kwakaitwa jambanja rakakomba, munozviziva.

The white farmers did everything to derail it and ended up enlisting the support of the white bench which was led by the likes of Justice Gubbay.

So, we needed wedu isu akaita saana Chidyausiku to fight for us and to resist anaGubbay as best as they could.

The late Chief Justice came up with decisions that made our land reform possible. He applied his sharp legal mind to overturn Justice Gubbay’s judgments.

The Third Chimurenga was thus resoundingly won, saved thanks to the efforts of the likes of the late Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

We shall, indeed, surely remember the efforts of Chief Justice Chidyausiku in undertaking the Judicial Act in setting up the Judicial Service Commission – that was his last act. The Judicial Service Commission that reduced a considerable number of justice contenders.

Majudge aida kuva Chief Justice vaikwikwidzana, saka takazopihwa vakasarudzwa vaiva vatatu. Vazhinji vaiva vadonhedzwa zvikanzi mochisarudza pavatatu ava wamungade kuti ava Chief Justice.

Iye haana kudura kuti vandasarudza ndiyani, aiwa. Vakati ndezvaPresident izvo. Ndokutumira information iyoyo kuna Minister of Justice VaMnangagwa.

VaMnangagwa ndokuchinyora bepa racho, tsamba yavo, vachitumira zvakanga zvataurwa izvozvo naChief Justice. Ndokuzvionawo ini ndikati, aiwa zvakanaka, vaJustice Luke Malaba, ndivo vatinosarudza.

So now we say, go well, son of the soil.

Wakashanda mushando wakanaka and nyika yose inoti well done, faithful servant. You never deceived the nation. You never went astray.

Saka on your departure, the nation inokupfekedza sokupfekedza kwakaitwa vazhinji, vakatunhidzwa, vakaitwa maNational Heroes.

So we say, go well as a National Hero. May your soul rest in eternal peace.

Ndatenda.

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