Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
CHIEF Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku will on Monday convene a special court sitting where lawyers and judges will pay tribute to the late national hero and High Court judge Justice Andrew Mutema. Justice Mutema died on August 21 this year at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo after collapsing. He became the first judge to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre in Zimbabwe.
The special court sitting will be attended by all judges, lawyers, prosecutors law officers and other members of the legal fraternity who will be dressed in their ceremonial attire. Ministers and other senior Government officials are expected to attend the special memorial service that will be conducted in a court set up.
In a statement, the Acting Chief Registrar of superior courts Mr Munamato Mutevedzi said the court session will be convened at the Constitutional Court in Harare. “The Chief Justice, the Honourable Mr G.G Chidyausiku, will convene a special sitting of the court in honour of the late Mr Justice Andrew Mutema, who passed away on August 21 2015.
“The special court will sit on Monday September 14 2015 at 10am.
“The court shall be convened at the Constitutional Court/Supreme Court of Zimbabwe at Mashonganyika Building, Corner 3rd Street and Samora Machel Avenue, Harare,” reads the statement.
Mr Mutevedzi said special guests like the Attorney-General, Prosecutor-General and members of the legal profession are requested to be seated by 9:50am on Monday.
The event is quite unique and it will be conducted in typical judicial proceedings way. Legal experts said the special sitting of the court was a common event in most countries, although in Zimbabwe it was not popular. Professor Lovemore Madhuku simplified it as follows:
“It is more of a memorial service done in the form of judicial proceedings. It is done in a courtroom and only lawyers and judges will deliver speeches on that day. “The AG, PG, Chief Justice and Law Society of Zimbabwe among others will have to say something,” he said.
Relatives of the late Justice Mutema will be invited to the function. Many countries like South Africa, New Zealand and England conduct the ceremony whenever their judges die. The late Justice Mutema was buried on August 29 this year at the National Heroes Acre.