Friday, December 14, 2012

A Judge says thank you

When I changed my profile picture on Face Book to one depicting me as a Judge I was quite taken with the wave of appreciation posted by Face Book activists.  It made me realize that I am still held in honour and esteem because of my elevation to this sacred office.

Indeed it was a great honour, one of the greatest honours that our country Zimbabwe could, at that time, have conferred on one of its sons.   In 1987 Zimbabwe had a judiciary that was held in the highest esteem across the planet. Judges were appointed strictly on merit. 
So before I leave this world it behoves me to acknowledge those to whom my family and I are deeply indebted to for my appointment and the honour it brought to us and our community.

1. Godfrey Guwa Chidyausiku was the first person to propose that I be appointed. What is pertinent to point out to his credit, is that he did this despite that fact that we were neither friends nor naturally empathetic towards each other. We had some rather testy disagreements.

2. Minister Edson Jonasi Zvobgo's interest in me was triggered when I successfully acted as his Advocate in a defamation suit. He stated that he was thrilled that here was a genuine opportunity to ensure that the High Court Bench also reflected our demographics as this was important to the principle that "justice be seen to be done".

3. Enoch Dumbutshena, as the then Chief Justice, was effusive about having me appointed and, and was enthusiastic in making his recommendation to the President, His Excellency Canaan Banana.

4. Then Prime Minister Robert Gabriel Mugabe had to provide political sanction for my appointment. He did this, despite an obvious credibility problem in that I had been a magistrate under Ian Douglas Smith. In the one personal interaction I had with him he stated very, very  slowly, but approvingly -  "we did hear about you". It must also be noted that Mugabe did this even though I had defended 10 ZAPU cadres charged with plotting to kill him and staging an attempted coup.

Because of what these human beiongs did for me I had an opportunity to serve my country in a very, very meaningful way. My record as a Judge thankfully proved to be unimpeachable and perhaps one of the best in this region in terms of judgments reported, and followed, in the Law Reports in relation to the period served.
So I also  thank the Almighty that the faith that was shown in me was not betrayed.

Being a judge also provided me with the credibilty to go on and serve three (3) other countries, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa in a very meaningful way. My thinking has made a permenent and real difference in bringing social justice to road crash victims in those countries. See ----

So I ask all of you to join me in saying thank you.  

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