Chidyausiku slams lazy judges

Source: Chidyausiku slams lazy judges | The Herald October 1, 2016

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter—
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has once again slammed some High Court judges for being “lazy” and creating a backlog, with one judge only handing down two judgments last year while other judges had written more than 300. Justice Chidyausiku hit out at Justices Samuel Kudya, Alphas Chitakunye and Priscilla Chigumba for failing to conclude cases during their interviews to be considered for elevation to the Supreme Court on Thursday.

It merged that Justice Kudya had only handed down two judgments last year while Justice Chitakunye handed 69 judgments, something the Judicial Service Commission said was a cause for concern. Justice Charles Hungwe, who was part of eight judges to be interviewed, was commended for writing more than 100 judgments in a year.

“The pressure in the Supreme Court is more than at the High Court. Why should the Commission be convinced that you will write more judgments at the Supreme Court when you have not been writing at the High Court. Some of your fellow judges have written 330 judgments while you have written two,” said Chief Justice Chidyausiku, while interviewing Justice Kudya.

“If it was a small difference of about say 10, I would understand, but a discrepancy of about 200, we have problems with that.” Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba weighed in saying: “You wrote 12 judgments in 2013, it means you are not really working.” In response, Justice Kudya said he was once Acting Secretary of JSC, a position which consumed some of his time.

He said in some of the instances he disposed of some cases during pre-trial management meetings where one party would eventually withdraw. “So you are saying you are disposing the cases through arbitration and not through judgments?” asked Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

Justice Kudya said he is in a specialised court — the Fiscal Court — where he is the only judge, adding that he receives large volumes of documents to go through.

“The 24 hours I have in a day are not enough to deal with a tax case. I am surprised I have not had a nervous breakdown. I have most of the time taught myself. I have no one to consult, one judge who used to do such cases is Retired Justice (George) Smith and he is now a consultant of most of the parties that appear before me, making it impossible to consult him,” said Justice Kudya.

“Another judge is Justice (Ben) Hlatshwayo, but he is now at the Supreme Court. I would not want to bother him since I know he is a busy man. “Besides if I consult him what if he is to deal with the very case that I would have consulted on appeal.”

Justice Chitakunye said he sits on the African Union Commission on Human Rights and that entails travelling a lot and reading voluminous documents and hinted that could be one of the reasons for lower output.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku said if that was the case, the JSC might consider not to second judges to the continental body if their work was being compromised. The judges were also taken to task on why they had a higher number of their cases overturned on appeal.


  • comment-avatar
    Stingray 6 years ago

    How many cases has he Chidyausiku completed during the past two years

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      Yes. Stingray – good question. Nevertheless, this is not to say laziness is condoned. Simply that Chidyausiku need to lead by example & walk the talk. Otherwise his subordinates could simply be taking a cue from their boss’s work ethic – though they would not say it openly.

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    Ulreka 6 years ago

    Chidyausiku’s judgements are predetermined as they are always in favour of Zanu pf (to which he is very loyal) or its government hence he spends very little time on some of the cases that are brought before him. How many judgements has he reserved and why? He should instead be taking Mugabe to task for threatening judges who are exercising the powers vested on them by our constitution.

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    Ulreka 6 years ago

    He should instead be taking Mugabe to task for threatening judges who are exercising the powers invested upon them by our constitution. We are having all these problems with Mugabe, Chihuri and Chiwenga because he is conveniently dozing in his chamber.

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    nelson moyo 6 years ago

    Walk the talk – Zimbabwe’s newest saying

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    HW many judgements did Priscilla Chigumba handed?This is clear character assasination and plain victimisation on the woman. Just becoz she ruled in favor of protests, of which she was spot on in terms of the constitution, I am observing a pattern in attacking her at every opportunity and this is a direct attack to our Judiciary .At the end it compromises the justice delivery system of our beloved country Zimbabwe.

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    Solidarity 6 years ago

    Come clean Chidyavashandi
    How many judgments did you deliver yourself. I know of a case of IDBZ that your constitutional court reserved judgment in 2014 to date. Is that justice and competence?