Saturday, June 23, 2018

Chidyausiku’s widow sues JSC over terminal benefits

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THE late national hero and former Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku’s wife, Farai, has petitioned the High Court seeking an order to compel the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to facilitate payment of her husband’s terminal benefits and pension contributions by the government.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Through her lawyers, Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, Farai said despite her being the only surviving spouse of the late former Chief Justice, the latter’s employer had refused to pay the terminal benefits and pension contributions 12 months after his death.
In the application, the JSC, Pension Master, Pay Master and the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi were cited as respondents respectively.
“The second and third respondents (Pension Master, Pay Master) despite being aware that I am the only surviving spouse have refused, failed and/or neglected to pay out the pension to me. They have not processed the terminal benefits and pension,” Farai said.
She argued that despite her anticipation, nothing had turned up, leaving her with no choice, but to approach the courts.
“The refusal by the second respondent to process the late’s pension has led me to seek that a compelling order be issued directing the respondents to pay out the late’s pension and terminal benefits to me as the surviving spouse,” Farai argued.
In her founding affidavit, Farai said she customarily married the late former Chief Justice in 2009 and stayed with him until his untimely death on May 3, 2017.
In a bid to buttress her claims, Farai attached her diplomatic passport to the application, which shows she was born on March 2, 1982 in Goromonzi.
She further said she used to accompany the late Chief Justice on his official business with the blessings of Cabinet.
“The government of Zimbabwe has, during the late’s tenure of office, recognised me as the late’s wife as evidenced by attached Cabinet authority which clearly states that I would accompany him as spouse,” she said, showing a copy of her diplomatic passport issued in March 2014.
According to Farai, when the late Chief Justice Chidyausiku retired from his position, he allegedly completed a pension form, namely (PDI) in terms of which he declared and confirmed her as his spouse.
“If the second respondent is not compelled, I continue to suffer unconscionable harm because the second respondent is disentitling me to that which I am entitled to, yet the second respondent has no acceptable reason to withhold the said pension,” Chidyausiku’s surviving spouse said.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.