The body of retired High Court judge and former Zimbabwe Electoral Commission head Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe, who died in Namibia last week, is expected home early this week. Justice Mutambanengwe succumbed to renal failure last Wednesday at Paramount Hospital in Windhoek, Namibia.
In an interview, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said the body was expected this Tuesday with assistance from Namibia’s government.
“The body of the late Justice Mutambanengwe is likely to arrive in the country on Tuesday and will be repatriated with the assistance of the Namibian government,” she said.
At the time of his death, Justice Mutambanengwe was working as a legal consultant for the Namibian government after retiring from that country’s Supreme Court, where he once served as Acting Chief Justice.
Family spokesperson Mr Naboth Mutambanengwe said, “At the moment we cannot give a definite position regarding the repatriation of the body because there is need for coordination between the family and Government.
“We understand the Zimbabwean and the Namibian governments are working together to repatriate the body of the late justice. Tentatively we are expecting the body to arrive on Wednesday, however there is no definite position as yet.”
Justice Mutambanengwe was born in Mutare in 1930. He graduated from the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts and then read Law at the Inner Temple in the UK, becoming an advocate in 1963 and practicing there until 1964. Justice Mutambanengwe returned to returned to Rhodesia to work as an advocate until 1979, during which time he also served as Zanu Secretary for Foreign Affairs. From 1979 he worked as a lawyer in Zimbabwe until 1986 when he was appointed a judge of the High Court.
In 1994, he was appointed to Namibia’s High Court and was subsequently chaired the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission for three years from March 2010 at which time he stepped down on health grounds.
Justice Mutambanengwe is survived by wife Juliana, three sons and 10 grandchildren.
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