Gubbay decided to stick on too


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Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay who had been asked to take four months leave before retiring from the bench changed his mind and decided to stay on but Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government was paying Gubbay off which meant that his retirement would be effective immediately.

Chinamasa also ordered Gubbay to vacate his official residence within nine days of his forced retirement.

Gubbay said he was consulting lawyers but at the same time felt that the government would never reinstate him though he thought that he had a good case.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE861, SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE FIGHTS BACK

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE861

2001-02-28 09:15

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

280915Z Feb 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO0290

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00861 280917Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00  FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   STR-00

TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————CB660C 280917Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8304

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000861

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA – C. PALMA

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00861 280917Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE FIGHTS BACK

 

REF: (A)HARARE 766, (B)HARARE 694, (C) HARARE 644

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (SBU) IN A DRAMATIC, ELEVENTH HOUR TWIST TO THE SAGA

OF THE ZIMBABWEAN JUDICIARY, CHIEF JUSTICE ANTHONY

GUBBAY MADE PUBLIC HIS INTENTION TO STAY ON THE JOB. IT

WAS EARLIER UNDERSTOOD THAT THE CHIEF JUSTICE WOULD WRAP

UP HIS AFFAIRS AT THE BENCH ON FEBRUARY 28, AT WHICH

TIME HE WOULD TAKE FOUR MONTHS’ LEAVE AND OFFICIALLY

RETIRE AT THE END OF JUNE. ON FEBRUARY 27 RUMBLINGS

THAT THE CHIEF JUSTICE MIGHT NOT GO QUIETLY PROMPTED

MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL, AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

PATRICK CHINAMASA TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD

GIVE THE CHIEF JUSTICE FOUR MONTHS’ PAY, MAKING HIS

RETIREMENT EFFECTIVE AT MIDNIGHT ON FEBRUARY 28 AND

ORDERED HIM TO VACATE HIS OFFICIAL RESIDENCE BY MARCH 9.

CHINAMASA ESSENTIALLY TRICKED GUBBAY INTO “RESIGNING”

AHEAD OF HIS MANDATORY RETIREMENT DATE IN APRIL 2002

(REF C). THE CHIEF JUSTICE NEVER PUBLICLY ACKNOWLEDGED

HIS AGREEMENT TO DO SO.

 

2. (C) SPEAKING TO CHARGE ON FEBRUARY 28, THE CHIEF

JUSTICE SOUNDED TIRED AND DEPRESSED. HE HAD PRACTICAL

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00861 280917Z

MATTERS TO ATTEND TO, SINCE SHORTLY HE WILL LOSE HIS

OFFICIAL RESIDENCE, OFFICIAL VEHICLE AND A SUBSTANTIAL

PORTION OF HIS INCOME. HE REPORTED THAT HE WAS

CONSULTING A TEAM OF LAWYERS WITH RESPECT TO THE CASE HE

WOULD MOUNT TO CHALLENGE THE GOVERNMENT’S

UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTION IN REMOVING HIM FROM OFFICE. HE

THOUGHT THE PRESIDENT WOULD SWEAR IN A SUBSTANTIVE CHIEF

JUSTICE ON MARCH 1. WHILE HE THOUGHT HE HAD A GOOD CASE

AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT, GUBBAY WAS, NEVERTHELESS,

REALISTIC: “THEY’LL NEVER REINSTATE ME AS CHIEF JUSTICE

OR CANCEL THE APPOINTMENT OF THE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE.”

 

3. (C) COMMENT: IN AN EARLIER CONVERSATION WITH CHARGE,

GUBBAY MADE CLEAR HIS VIEW THAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD NOT

APPOINT AN ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE TO REPLACE HIM WHILE HE

WAS ON LEAVE, AND THAT IS THE CRUX OF HIS ARGUMENT IN

FIGHTING BACK. GUBBAY NOW APPEARS DETERMINED TO STAY

UNTIL APRIL 2002, WHETHER OR NOT, IN DOING SO, HE

PROVOKES A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. FOR ITS PART, THE

GOVERNMENT SEEMS DETERMINED TO IGNORE THE CONSTITUTIONAL

REQUIREMENTS FOR REMOVING A CHIEF JUSTICE AND PLANS TO

SEND GUBBAY PACKING ON MARCH 1, AN ACTION WHICH HAS NO

BASIS IN LAW. A NUMBER OF INTERLOCUTORS HAVE TOLD US

RECENTLY THAT THE GOVERNMENT’S INTENTION IS TO REPLACE

GUBBAY WITH PRO-ZANU-PF JUDGE PRESIDENT OF THE HIGH

COURT GODFREY CHIDYAUSIKU. CHIDYAUSIKU WILL THEN

RECOMMEND, AS THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES, THAT A TRIBUNAL

BE FORMED TO INVESTIGATE THE “MISCONDUCT” OF THE

REMAINING FOUR SUPREME COURT JUSTICES. THE GOVERNMENT’S

ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE IS OSTENSIBLY THE REPLACEMENT OF

GUBBAY’S FOUR COLLEAGUES WITH JURISTS WILLING TO LOOK

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00861 280917Z

THE OTHER WAY AS PRESIDENT MUGABE AND HIS CRONIES RUN

ROUGHSHOD OVER THE SPIRIT IF NOT THE LETTER OF THE LAW.

END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(21 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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