HARARE, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday said the late retired Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku will forever be remembered for the crucial role he played in ensuring the success of the land reform program.
Addressing mourners at the national shrine, Mugabe said Chidyausiku had distinguished himself well by defending the land reform exercise at a time when there was rabid opposition to it, state media New Ziana reported.
"When we embarked on the third Chimurenga program, the white farmers did everything possible to derail it and ended up enlisting the support of the white bench which was led by the likes of Justice (Anthony) Gubbay. So we needed the likes of Chidyausiku to fight for us and resist the likes of Gubbay as best as they could," Mugabe said.
Chidyausiku, who had recently retired from his post as Chief Justice, died last week in South Africa where he had gone to seek medical treatment.
He served as Chief Justice for 16 years, following his elevation to the top job at the height of the land reform program. He made a ruling in 2001 which led to the government repossessing land from white farmers to the black majority.
Mugabe said Chidyausiku understood the importance of re-distributing land to the black majority, hence he worked tirelessly to ensure the colonial imbalance was addressed.