1. Left is the late former Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku. On the right is his successor Chief Justice Luke Malaba. Months before CJ Chidyausiku reached his 70th birthday he started the process of choosing his successor. 4 days before he is 70, CJ Malaba has no successor.
2. In fact, everything points to CJ Malaba succeeding himself. This is ironic. CJ Malaba was the beneficiary of CJ Chidyausiku’s respect of constitutional limits to his judicial term. He had his faults but on this occasion, he did what a professional judge & leader would do.
3. 4 years later, it’s CJ Malaba’s turn to give way to a fellow judge. There are there, judges awaiting their turn. But, it seems, he doesn’t want to go. Zimbabwe has had the misfortune of leaders who don’t want to give up power. But you would have thought judges were different
4. Indeed, CJ Chidyausiku led by example when he respected the mandatory retirement age & left. CJ Malaba was supposed to be a better judge and a better man. There were great hopes when he took over. But now he is failing even the basic test that his predecessor passed.
5. Criticism has nothing to do with the man. I don’t know him. He has had bad cases but he has also had good cases. It’s nothing to do with whether he is a good judge or man. It’s all about the institution- his office & respect for the Constitution which he’s sworn to uphold.
6. By clinging on to office based on an amendment which is illegal, his tenure will suffer a legitimacy deficit. The amendment puts him in an awkward position where he must defend & probably judge an unlawful amendment. It embarrasses & demeans the office of the Chief Justice.

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More from @Wamagaisa

8 May
1. Chimbetu was a musical genius & this song is one of his absolute beauties. I would love to hear from fellow Dendera aficionados what he meant. For me it’s a lament over the poverty and great inequalities in our society. Let me explain:
2. He says urombo huri munyika, ndaona mbudzi ichikuya mamera (there’s poverty in the land but I saw a goat grinding malt). A goat doesn’t normally grind malt. It eats it. If it’s grinding malt it’s because it has too much of it. Metaphor for the rich playing around with wealth.
3. The wealthy spend & play around with wealth while the rest are wallowing in poverty. He says if I had money, you would pray at my altar: it’s a mockery of those who have wealth & make everyone jump. Chimbetu’s message was powerful. What’s your interpretation?
Read 4 tweets
2 May
1. Clash of generations: there’s a generation that remembers a Zimbabwe of high standards; a country that worked & had promise. There’s a generation of young adults with no such memory. Their universe was shaped by falling standards; a Zimbabwe that doesn’t work; without promise
2. One generation remembers a Zimbabwe where buses had a time-table & ran on time; cities where running water & electricity were the norm; a Zimbabwe where the milkman left milk bottles at the gate & the postman delivered letters in the box & the Zimbabwe Dollar was proper money.
3. For the other generation, queuing for water at the borehole is normal. For the bucket generation, the bathtub & shower are exceptions. Mushikashika. Kungwavhangwavha. Potholed roads. Dark streets. It’s the norm. It came into a world without things that others take for granted
Read 10 tweets
30 Apr
Lobola: Katekwe v Muchabaiwa

1. This thread is in honour of one of the iconic cases in Zimbabwean Family Law, reported in 1984. The father of a woman had sued for seduction damages from the man. The lower courts had ruled in his favour but the man appealed to the Supreme Court
2. The Supreme Court ruled that the Legal Age of Majority Act, passed in 1982 (LAMA) had liberated black women from their old status as perpetual minors under customary law. A father no longer had a right to claim seduction damages for a daughter who had reached 18 years.
3. It’s probably hard to imagine it now but LAMA & the judgment were pretty revolutionary for black women. Before, a black woman was a minor under the guardianship of her father or husband. She could not enter into any contracts, including marriage without her guardian’s consent.
Read 14 tweets
28 Apr
1. I sincerely hope this was not a mere show Senator ⁦@DMwonzora⁩ which covers a done deal with ZANU PF whereby some MDC-T Senators will vote for the illegal amendment but for once in a long time you spoke like the constitution-builder that you were. openparly.com/index.php/2021…
2. I’m still at a loss however as to why, with your constitutional campus still intact, you voted for the first amendment which was non-existent & obviously illegal. The illegality you’re rightly complaining of now re the second affects everything under that illegal amendment.
3. As such, powerful as this speech appears to be in defence of the Constitution, it is akin to shutting the stable doors after the horses have bolted. If your vote for the first amendment was tactical, it was ill-advised because it should have come with a concession.
Read 4 tweets
27 Apr
A royal letter

1. This letter is from 1897. It was written by Njube, son of King Lobengula. Njube, in the middle, had been sent away to Cape Town by Cecil John Rhodes after the conquest of the Ndebele nation. In this picture he is with his brothers Mpezeni & Nguboyenja. Image
2. In this letter, Njube was pleading with Rhodes to be allowed to return home. He wanted to be with his people and to learn his language, he wrote. He wanted to be with mother. A proud young man, he expresses embarrassment at having to ask for money from Rhodes. Image
3. Njube had been taken away by Rhodes ostensibly to be educated in Cape Town, but the real fear was that he would provide a rallying point for his people who would proclaim him successor to his father. Njube didn’t like the forced exile as the letter shows.
Read 5 tweets
26 Apr
The AVM bus - a local icon

1. I was always intrigued by the acronym “AVM” since I was a boy. My search led me to a beautiful history of this bus model & why it deserves a high place amongst the greats of Zimbabwe. I wrote it in a recent BSR but here’s one for the Twitter market.
2. Before the 1960s, bus supplies were largely imported from Britain with Leyland being the dominant company. When Ian Smith declared independence in 1965 (UDI), Rhodesia faced UN sanctions & British supplies dried up. There had to be a new plan, as was the case in other areas.
3. Dahmer Pvt Ltd had been formed in 1961. It took on the challenge of developing the AVM as a “home-produced vehicle” which was mass produced from 1974 (White, 2016). Dahmer was now a Lonrho subsidiary. It started as a short model carrying 64 passengers before rising to 76.
Read 11 tweets

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