HomeLocal NewsConstitutional law guru Magaisa dies

Constitutional law guru Magaisa dies

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
RENOWNED United Kingdom-based constitutional law expert Alex Magaisa has died.

Magaisa (47) is said to have suffered a heart attack while admitted to Margate Hospital in the United Kingdom (UK).

His brother Levy Magaisa confirmed his death to NewsDay yesterday.

“I can confirm that Alex is no more, but I can’t talk much right now,” Levy said.

Magaisa, who served as an adviser to the late MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai at the time the latter was Prime Minister between 2009 and 2013, was a lecturer at the UK’s Kent Law School (University of Kent) at the time of his death.

He was well-known for his incisive analysis of constitutional and legal matters in Zimbabwe, Africa and the world in general through his blog Big Saturday Read (BSR).

News of his death yesterday attracted an outpour of grief from civil society organisations, lawyers and political activists, who paid tribute to him for his immense contribution to constitutionalism in the country.

Magaisa co-founded the Constitutional Law Centre, a consortium of six civic society organisations including ZimRights, which are involved in research and advocacy on constitutional and human rights issues.


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Obituary: Magaisa: A voice of reason, integrity has gone silent

Lawyer and opposition politician Lovemore Madhuku described him as an extremely intelligent young lawyer.

“It’s very devastating that we have lost Magaisa. We were observing with keen interest the amount of energy he was putting into developing some form of interest in how the law can assist the ordinary person. His Big Saturday Read had become a household name,” Madhuku said.

Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa described Magaisa’s death as “a huge blow” for the country.

“What a force, a giant! What a human being! What an intelligent man! What gigabytes of intellect! What a fine great man! What a sober mind! What a cool character! What a lovely brother! And he has not seen his heart’s desire: A New Great Zimbabwe,” Chamisa said.

Exiled former minister Jonathan Moyo tweeted: “Gutting news about Dr Alex Magaisa. A fierce interlocutor, a prolific writer and an indefatigable contributor to the quest for a better Zimbabwe. His tragic death leaves an unfillable void in the country’s public discourse. Condolences to his family and friends.”

Some of his most read BSRs included Demolition Job — How the Regime is Unmaking the New Constitution; Presidential Decree — A Bout of Economic Madness and a Cocktail of Illegalities; and Zec has Broad Powers to Ensure a Free, Fair, and Credible Election, among several others. They sparked fierce public debate.

Magaisa’s academic achievements included a PhD in Law from the University of Warwick in the UK.

Between 2011 and 2012, he was part of the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee team that wrote the new Constitution of Zimbabwe which was adopted in a 2013 referendum.

Details of his burial arrangements are yet to be announced.

  • Follow Miriam on Twitter @FloMangwaya

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