George Chiweshe
George Chiweshe.JPG
BornGeorge Mutandwa Chiweshe
(1953-06-07)June 7, 1953
  • Chairperson
  • Judge
Known forJudge President of High Court of Zimbabwe, Former Chairperson Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

Retired Brigadier General George Mutandwa Chiweshe is a Zimbabwean lawyer and a judge of the Supreme Court. He is a former Judge President of the High Court of Zimbabwe. Before that, he was the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission during the 2008 elections.


He was born on the 5th of June, 1953 in the Mazowe district of Mashonaland Central, Northeast of Harare.


Chiweshe attended Tendayi Primary School in 1961 and subsequently Fletcher Secondary School in 1969.

He obtained his law degree at the University of Zimbabwe in 1988.

The Liberation Struggle

Chiweshe is a war veteran who fought in the war for Zimbabwe's Independence. He left his legal studies at the then University of Rhodesia to become a ZANLA combatant in 1975, where he achieved the rank of Detachment Political Commissar. Chiweshe received his military training in Mozambique. During the Second Chimurenga, he was a deputy to the current head of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga and his nom de guerre during the war was Cde Yasser Arafat.[1]

Legal Career

After independence, he worked as a public prosecutor from 1980 and completed his legal studies at the University of Zimbabwe. In 1983 he joined the Zimbabwe National Army as a Major and served in the Directorate of Legal Services. He rose through the ranks and became the Head of the Directorate of Legal Services and the Judge Advocate-General in the Zimbabwe National Army in 1996. He attained the rank of Brigadier-General which he held until his retirement in Aprill 2001.[2].

He was appointed as a judge of the High Court in 2001. His judicial work was interrupted for several years by his tenure as Chairperson of the Delimitation Commission of 2004 with responsibilities for drawing up electoral constituencies. The opposition parties complained that constituencies were redrawn to favor Zanu-PF, by increasing rural constituencies where Zanu-PF is stronger and reducing urban constituencies, where opposition parties had a stronghold. [1]

In 2005 Chiweshe was appointed Chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. In this position, he oversaw the 2008 Elections. The elections were violent and highly discredited although ZEC concluded that the election was free and fair. Under Chiweshe, ZEC failed to produce the results of the presidential election for a record period of six weeks. ZEC said it was conducting “meticulous verification” of the results but most critics accused the ruling Zanu-PF team of fiddling with and fixing the results to give the defeated Mugabe another chance through a presidential run-off election[1]

In August 2008, together with other retired officers, Chiweshe was promoted to Major-General by President Mugabe. After resuming his judicial duties from the Electoral Commission, he was appointed Judge-President of the High Court in May 2010 succeeding Justice Rita Makarau. He occasionally acted as a judge of the Supreme Court/Constitutional Court.[2]

Notable Cases

  • In 2016 Justice Chiweshe dismissed citizens’ legal challenge against a police decree banning demonstrations in central Harare. He held that the police decree was constitutional despite the glaring fact that the Constitution clearly prohibits anyone but Parliament from exercising primary law making powers. [1]

  • In 2016, Chiweshe dismissed a legal challenge against the introduction of Bond Notes, a surrogate currency, on the grounds that it was not urgent. Chiweshe overlooked the fact that government had used the Presidential Powers Act, an unconstitutional piece of legislation to support the bond notes.[1]

  • At the opening of the 2016 Legal Year at the High Court in Bulawayo Judge-President Chiweshe appeared to criticise a directive from Chief Justice Chidyausiku that required judgments to be posted on a website. Judge-President Chiweshe argued that the quality of judgments was being diluted by the requirement which had resulted in rushed judgments as judges sought to meet targets. In his speech Judge President said,

The current directive is that all judgments must be treated as reportable and posted on the website. The result has been that judgments of little or no significance are given a status they don’t deserve. They are treated as Zimbabwe’s best



Chiweshe has been criticised for his apparent bias for the Zanu-PF political party which some people have said is reflected in his anti-opposition judgements. Prominent UK based Zimbabwean lawyer, Alex Magaisa said in November 2016 when Chiweshe ruled against the urgency of a challenge to the introduction of Bond Notes that "Taking matters to Chiweshe's court is like goats taking a petition to a hyena!."

Alex Magaisa on Chiweshe bias


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Alex Magaisa,The Big Saturday Read: The law and politics of selecting Zimbabwe’s new Chief Justice, Big Saturday Read , Published: December 03, 2016 , Retrieved: December 03 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 [hhttp://veritaszim.net/node/1900 Court Watch 2016 - 12th December Public Interviews for Four Chief Justice Candidates], Published: November 09, 2016, Retrieved: December 03 2016