FORMER Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has died at a South African Hospital.
A close family relative who spoke on condition of anonymity told our media team that the former Chief Justice, who retired last month, was ferried to South Africa on Tuesday morning and passed on this (Wednesday) afternoon.
It could not immediately be ascertained what ailment he was suffering from but the family said he had been unwell since his farewell dinner.
Family members were preparing to travel to South Africa Wednesday afternoon when they were told tragic news. Chidyausiku retired in February this year and was replaced by Justice Luke Malaba
Chidyausiku was involved in politics during Rhodesia’s unilaterally declared independence, being a member of the Rhodesia House of Assembly.
After independence he was elected a Zanu PF Member of Parliament and served in the government as Attorney-General. After becoming a Judge he headed the Constitutional Convention in 1999, and was appointed Chief Justice in 2001.
Chidyausiku was born in Domboshawa, Southern Rhodesia. He attended Mutake School at Makumbi Mission, and then St Ignatius college in Chishawasha. He won a place at the University of Rhodesia from 1968 to 1972 where he read law.
He went into private legal practice. At the 1974 general election he won the Harari 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 Smith. Chidyausiku stood down at the 1977 election.
In the 1980 election Chidyausiku was elected as 12th on ZANU-PF’s list for Mashonaland East when ZANU-PF won 14 seats. He was Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing and of Justice from 1980, and was promoted to be Attorney-General in 1982.
After the resignation of Anthony Gubbay, Chidyausiku was named as Zimbabwe’s new Chief Justice in July 2001.