Godfrey Chidyausiku
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku
Chief Justice
In office
July 2001 – February 2017
Appointed byPresident Robert Mugabe
Preceded byAntony Gubbay
Personal details
Godfrey Guwa Chidyausiku

(1947-02-23) February 23, 1947 (age 75)
DiedFebruary 23, 1947(1947-02-23) (aged -71)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Resting placeZimbabwe National Heroes Acre
Political partyZanu-PF
Spouse(s)Sheila Madzima (deceased), Farai Kunaka
RelationsSupreme Court Justice Antonia Guvava (niece), Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku (brother)
Children11 including Tendai Chidyausiku (daughter), Chipo (daughter),Tirivangani (son),Tadzimirwa (son)
Alma mater
University of the Rhodesia
ProfessionLawyer, Judge, Politician

Godfrey Guwa Chidyausiku was a Zimbabwean judge and former politician. He served as the Chief Justice from his appointment in 2001 to his retirement on the 28th of Feberuary 2017.[1]. Chidyausiku headed the Constitutional Convention in 1999 when Zimbabwe attempted to change its constitution. The change ultimately failed after Zimbabweans voted No in the referendum.

He was involved in politics during Rhodesia's unilaterally declared independence, being a member of the Rhodesia House of Assembly. After independence he was elected as a Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front member to the Zimbabwe House of Assembly, and served in the government as Attorney-General. After becoming a Judge he headed the Constitutional Convention in 1999.


Chidyausiku was born 23 February 1947 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 studied law.

Legal Career

After getting his law degree, Chidyausiku went into private legal practice. At the 1974 general election he won the Harare 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 the 12th member 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.

Chidyausiku was later promoted to be a judge of the High Court in 1987. He later served as chair of the Constitutional Convention charged with drafting a new constitution for Zimbabwe. He ensured that the constitution accorded with the wishes of the government, including an executive Presidency; many members of the convention had argued against it. However, in the referendum on the constitution, the electorate rejected the text.

After the resignation of Anthony Gubbay, Chidyausiku was named as Zimbabwe's new Chief Justice in July 2001. [2] He became Ziimbabwe's longest Chief Justice when he retired on the 28th of February 2017.

Farm Mechanisation Scheme

In July 2020, Godfrey Chidyausiku was listed, in the BSR of 18 July 2020, as a beneficiary in the 2007 RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme, as a result of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme.

The data is analysed by recipients origin:.

  • Mashonaland provinces had the most beneficiaries, both in terms of numbers and value.

Mashonaland East got US$47,5 million,
Mashonaland West US$44,7 million
Mashonaland Central had US$34,2 million.

  • Two Matebeleland provinces had a combined total of US$13,9 million.
  • Masvingo US$26,4 million,
  • Manicaland US$18 million
  • Midlands US$14 million.

Godfrey Chidyausiku is listed under the thematic group “Political Referees: Judges”. According to the list, he got machinery and equipment worth US$381,946.00. He died in 2017, his loan still outstanding. [3]

Personal life

Chidyausiku was married to Sheila Madzima who was the first black qualified physiotherapist. She died in 2009.[4] He later on married Farai Chidyausiku.[5]


He died on May 3, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa at the age of 70. He died from kidney and liver complications.[6]

Poisoning Allegations

After his death allegations that he had been poisoned surfaced. [7]It was reported that some of Chidyausiku's relatives suspected that he had been poisoned at his retirement party. They claimed that he never fully recovered after that night.[7] The allegations are yet to be proved or disproved

National Hero Status

Four days after his death in South Africa, Chidyausiku was declared a National Hero by the Politburo of the ruling Zanu-PF party. He was buried at the National Heroes Acre on the 13th of May 2017. [5]

Will and Estate distribution

Chidyausiku is reported to have disinherited his second wife, Farai Kunaka, after leaving out her his will.[8]He had originally bequeathed her a house in Bluffhill, property on Stand Number 2371 Bluffhill Township of 2253 Bluffhill Township, in 2014. However, he later changed his mind and allocated the house to his two daughters Tendai and Chipo Chidyausiku.[8]

Chidyausiku left his 50% of a property in Highlands worth $750 000 which he co-owned with his first wife Ms Mary Chidyausiku to his two sons Tirivangani and Tadzimirwa Chidyausiku. He also gave the household property to the sons. He also left his son Tirivangani a farm, Arusha/Chifambi, which is in Goromonzi district. According to the will, the rest of the property should be shared equally amongst his 11 children.


  • Supreme Court Justice Antonia Guvava is Chidyausiku's niece and the two served on the Supreme Court bench together. Guvava is the daughter of Chidyausiku's brother. [5]
  • Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku, is brother to the former Chief Justice. [5]
  • In 1974, Chidyausiku was the youngest member of parliament at 27 years of age. He was ANC MP for the then Harari Constituency.


  1. "Chidyausiku retires •Hunt for replacement begins •New Chief Justice to start March 2017". The Herald. October 15, 2009.
  2. "New top judge in Zimbabwe". BBC News. March 13, 2001.
  3. https://www.bigsr.co.uk/single-post/2020/07/18/BSR-EXCLUSIVE-Beneficiaries-of-the-RBZ loan of US$325,368.00-Farm-Mechanisation-Scheme BSR EXCLUSIVE: Beneficiaries of the RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme], Big Saturday Read, Published: 18 July 2020 Retrieved: 18 July 2020
  4. "Zimbabwe: Tale of Selfless Dedication". The Herald. August 20, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 We’ve lost a unifier, says Chidyausiku family, The Herald, Retrieved:11 May 2017, Published:11 MAy 2017
  6. [http://www.zbc.co.zw/2017/05/03/retired-cj-chidyausiku-dies/ Retired Chief Justice of Zimbabwe, Godfrey Chidyausiku has died], ZBC NEWS, Retrieved:3 May 2017, Published:3 May 2017
  7. 7.0 7.1 Chidyausiku family suspects foul play- claims former Chief Justice poisoned at farewell party, New Zimbabwe, Retrieved:11 May 2017, Published:05 May 2017
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Chidyausiku leaves million dollar estate to children •Excludes widow from will •Wife risks walking away empty-handed". Herald. Zimbabwe Papers. June 27, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017.