RIP Judge Mwila Chitabo, SC.
AS a High Court judge, he had a personal service charter which he tried to adhere to. Rulings to be delivered within 12 days and judgments in 30 days after close of the case.
Whether you liked the outcome or not, at least you got the verdict to enable you and your client plan ahead. You can lodge appeals and so on if not happy with his decision.
There is nothing so stressful than waiting for a ruling or judgment for years! And no law compels judges to deliver rulings or judgments on time – read the case of Brigadier-General Godfrey Miyanda v The High Court (1984) ZR 62- in which the former Vice President sued for delayed judgment.
He was told judges cannot be compelled to deliver judgments. You just have to wait!
Judge Chitabo was also courteous to counsel whom he fondly referred to as “attorney” all the time. He also liked “baptising” learner legal practitioners who appeared before him. A long lecture on ethics and professional conduct sometimes taking up a lot of time!
He was, sometimes, controversial with his decisions. But it comes with the territory…
For that, we shall miss you State Counsel, Justice Mwila Chitabo, MCIArb.