President mourns Advocate S.K.M Sibanda

by | Dec 30, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments


Mako Jerera


Retired High Court judge Advocate Siwanda Kennedy Mbuso Sibanda, who was one of the first blacks to be an advocate in the then Rhodesia passed away on Wednesday 22 December, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa after battling a long illness.

He was in his 80’s.


In a message of condolences to the Sibanda family, President Mnangagwa said that the death of Advocate Sibanda has robbed the nation of a dedicated lawyer, professional mentor and cadre of the liberation struggle.


“The demise on 22″ December 2021 in South Africa of Advocate Siwanda Kennedy Mbuso Sibanda, robbed our nation of a leading lawyer, professional mentor and veteran of our Liberation struggle. Ranking among an early crop of black legal practitioners in the then Rhodesia, Advocate SKM Sibanda will forever be remembered for saving the lives of many captured guerrillas who, except for his legal skills, would have met their death at the hands of the cruel Rhodesian regime.”


“He would make it his mission to locate these condemned cadres and nationalists from secretive Rhodesian dungeons in order to avail legal defence, often pro bono (for no charge). I had the privilege of working closely with late Advocate Sibanda who was part of the Patriotic Front legal team as we put together the framework for the Lancaster House Agreement which enabled political settlement and delivered our Independence in 1980 after a protracted war for our National Independence”.


“He was a fine legal mind who knew how to use his legal skills towards the defence of captured cadres and detained nationalists, thus furthering the ideals of our National Liberation Struggle.” said President Mnangagwa.


The President narrated how, after independence, in his capacity as Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, would once again work with the late Advocate Sibanda as a member of the bench.


“After Independence and as then Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, I would again work closely with him as a member of our Bench which he served with characteristic integrity and honour. Both before and after his stint on the Bench and on a number of Commissions. Advocate Sibanda mentored many young lawyers into professional adulthood.”



Advocate Sibanda’s family had taken him across the Limpopo hoping that he would get better but that was not to be the case.

Advocate Sibanda played a part in the liberation of this country representing a number of blacks cadres arrested and brought to the courts for fighting the Ian Smith regime in the 1970s.


He was part of the ZAPU delegation to the Lancaster House negotiations in 1979 leading to the country’s Independence.


He is cited in a number of tribunals for his contribution to the legal fraternity during the struggle and after Independence. His law firm was among the first black owned to practice in Bulawayo which helped many under privileged citizens to access legal services.