The body of the former High Court judge Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe who died on the 11th of this month in Namibia arrived in the country yesterday evening.

The late will be buried in Dambakurimwa village in Mutare on Saturday.

The body which was flown into the country by the Namibia Defence Forces was received by the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Acting Prosecutor-General, Advocate Ray Goba, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mrs Virginia Mabhiza, Politburo members, war veterans, representatives from the judiciary, relatives and friends.

In an interview at the Harare International Airport, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the late former High Court judge Justice Mutambanengwe played an important role in the liberation struggle and is remembered for sourcing weapons that were used during the Chinhoyi battle.

Cde Muchinguri says the late High Court judge championed the emancipation of women by promoting laws that empower women.

She said Cde Mutambanengwe has been offered state assisted burial in recognition of the role he played for the country.

Advocate Goba described the late Justice Mutambanegwe as a father figure who served with distinction in the country’s judiciary system as well as the Namibian judiciary system.

Family spokesperson, Mr Cornelius Sanyanga who thanked government for offering state assisted burial said the body will lie in state at his home in Mandara before being taken to Mutare on Friday for burial on Saturday at Dambakurimwa village in Mutare.

Mutambanengwe served in the High Courts of Zimbabwe and Namibia and was a former chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Justice Mutambanengwe was born at the Old Umtali Mission in Mutare in December 1930.

He studied English and History at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1959. He then studied Law at the Inner Temple, in London and became an Advocate in 1963.

After practising Law there until 1964, he returned to Rhodesia, working as an Advocate until 1979.

During that time he also served as Zanu Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

From 1979 he worked as a lawyer in independent Zimbabwe until 1986 when he was appointed a High Court judge.

In 1994 he was appointed to the Namibian High Court.

Justice Mutambanengwe also served in the Supreme Court of Namibia, both as Acting Chief Justice of Namibia and after his retirement several times as acting judge of appeal.

He was appointed chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on 31 March 2010 and resigned from this position in February 2013.

Mourners are currently gathered at number 36 Wallis road, Mandara in Harare.