8 May 2012

Zimbabwe: Justice Karwi to Be Buried Today

HIGH Court judge Justice Tadius Bernard Karwi who died on Saturday will be buried today at his farm in Chegutu.

Justice Karwi died at West End Hospital in Harare from cardiac arrest. He was 57.

Justice Karwi is survived by a wife and five children. Family spokesperson Mr James Machafa said they were waiting for relatives who are coming for the burial.

"Burial has been set for tomorrow (today) around 2pm at his farm (Faun Farm) in Chegutu," he said. "We are waiting for a family elder who is travelling from Zambia. If he delays, we will proceed with the burial."

Mr Machafa described the death as a shocker, saying it created a gap in the Karwi family. "It has been a shocker to us. My brother was a pillar of the family and he was so helpful," he said.

"The gap created is difficult to fill. He used to help us a lot and life will never be the same without him." Judicial Service Commission deputy secretary Mr Rex Shana said, in a statement, that they were saddened by the death of Justice Karwi.

"The Honourable Chief Justice Godfrey Guwa Chidyausiku and the entire Judicial Service Commission is sad to announce the passing on of the Honourable Justice Tadius Bernard Karwi, a judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe," he said.

The legal fraternity yesterday mourned the judge, describing his death as a blow to the country's justice system. Harare lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange described Justice Karwi as an intelligent and humble judge.

Mr Samukange said he once worked with Justice Karwi when they were both law officers in the Attorney General's Office in the 1980s. "We were both based at Rotten Row Magistrates' Courts," he said. "I can best describe him as an intelligent, but reserved lawyer. He truly lived a private life. He would do his own things to an extent of arranging for a wedding without his colleagues' knowledge.

"When he tied the knot, I was the best man, but there were no other lawyer friends. I was the only lawyer there.

"Even when he went for a drink with others, we would not notice him when he left. He would just disappear from the others when he felt like going home. Above all, I can say the late Justice Karwi was very intelligent, hardworking and very private. His death has pained us as lawyers and may his soul rest in peace."

The late judge's chauffeur Mr Ramios Toto described him as a "good boss" who was very humble. "The judge was too good that I enjoyed working with him. His death is actually a big loss and it has been very difficult for me to believe he is no more," he said.

Ms Deliwe Shana, who worked for years as Justice Karwi's clerk described him as a patient, caring and humble judge. "For the time I worked with Justice Karwi, I learnt to be a humble person. Despite being an honourable judge, he would respect the clerks," she said.

"He was more of a tutor, father and grandfather to us." Another clerk, Mr Perai Mashava said Justice Karwi will be remembered by the clerks for his love and generosity.

"I worked with Justice Karwi when I was still very green in the profession. He would patiently help me when I knew nothing about the job," he said. "He taught me a lot about the job. The judge was very generous to an extent of bringing us food at the height of the economic problems in 2008.

"Judge Karwi would bring us bags of maize from his farm when things were tight and at times when he brought packed lunch to work he would share with us."

A High Court official Mr Trynos Goronga said the judge had a very good working relationship with clerks and other officials.

"Justice Karwi's death is a sad loss to us. We had a very good working relationship with him and we learnt a lot from him. May his soul rest in eternal peace," he said.

Justice Karwi was born on July 11, 1955 and he did his primary and secondary education in Zimbabwe before obtaining a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

On his return to Zimbabwe, he joined the Attorney General's Office where he worked from 1981 to 1989.

He later joined ZESA Holdings as a corporate secretary and legal advisor before being appointed High Court judge in April 2002.

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