Home » Judicial » Legal Fraternity Mourns Luminary

After news filtered that Justice Sandura, a distinguished jurist had died, colleagues in the Judiciary and legal fraternity said the country had been robbed of one of the finest legal brains.

Retired High Court judge and diplomat, Justice Simbi Mubako, expressed shock on the untimely death of his former workmate and personal friend.

“He was, apart from being a workmate, a friend of long standing,” said Justice Mubako, who first knew Justice Sandura when he was a law student in London in the 1960s.

Justice Mubako said when he was the Minister of Justice after independence, he was tasked to look for an African who could be appointed as a regional magistrate and approached Justice Sandura.

At that time Justice Sandura was one of the few black aocates in the country.

“He became one of our first black magistrates. He was available for the appointment and he acquitted himself brilliantly,” said Justice Mubako.

He said later, Justice Sandura was appointed permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs before he was elevated to the High Court, where he again was one of the first black judges to be appointed to the bench.

Justice Mubako, who is now legal and political consultant, said while serving in the High Court, Justice Sandura was well-known for his incisive judgments.

He said Justice Sandura was later moved to the Supreme Court bench until his retirement in July 2011.

“Justice Sandura was a man of high integrity, very hard-working, brilliant and of independent mind,” said Justice Mubako adding, “Zimbabwe has lost a great legal personality. For me, I have lost a great personal friend. I want to wish his wife and children my most sincere and deepest condolences.”

Renowned Harare lawyer Mr Simplisius Chihambakwe, said he first met Justice Sandura in 1973 at the High Court when they came to write the Aocates’ examination.

“We were the only two candidates writing the examination to be admitted as Aocates at the High Court which we passed,” said Mr Chihambakwe a senior partner at Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners.

Mr Chihambakwe said following their admission as Aocates, Justice Sandura went straight into practice as an aocate.

“He was a close friend until at independence in 1980 when he was appointed regional magistrate and interestingly, I was a member of the Judicial Service Commission. I participated in his appointment as a regional magistrate.”

Justice Sandura, he said, served briefly as a regional magistrate and as the secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs before the JSC recommended his appointment as judge of the High Court.

“He was a very good judge, so was he as an Aocate,” said Mr Chihambakwe. “When he retired he was missed by a lot of professionals because he was quite good on the bench. I am sorry to hear about his death.”

Another eminent lawyer Mr James Prince Mutizwa said: “Justice Sandura was a senior jurist and he contributed immensely to the development of the jurisprudence of the country.

“He was a fearless judge who made decisions based on the dictates of the law as opposed to the popularity of the views which were current. In other words he was beholden to the law and to the law alone. It’s a huge loss.”

Source : The Herald