Elson Kaseke, former solicitor general is dead
Belize has lost a brilliant legal mind who penned numerous pieces of legislation. Over a month ago, it was wildly reported that Attorney at Law, Elson Kaseke had passed away at a hospital in Merida. The premature news of his demise was quickly dispelled and Kaseke was in fact found to be receiving medical attention at the time. We can confirm tonight, however, that on Tuesday night, Kaseke passed away at a hospital in Merida. His wife died earlier this year, and his son prior to that. His driver was accompanying him in Merida where he was getting healthcare for some time. We last interviewed the attorney on July fourteenth at the Supreme Court in Belize City. The former Solicitor General came from Zimbabwe about two decades ago and made Belize his home. When he left that office he went into private practice at his law firm in Belmopan. Godfrey Smith, as attorney general in the past administration, was responsible for contracting Kaseke as SolGen. News Five spoke to Smith today on the news of his passing.
Godfrey Smith, Attorney
“He was a drafting student. He got his LLM masters of law in legislative drafting in Cavehill, Barbados and I think he got word that Belize was looking for a legal draftsman. He decided to take up the offer and see what it is about. I’m sure he didn’t expect to stay as long as he did, but he ended up liking it. He has been in Belize close to twenty years if not more.”
“He brought with him a family?”
“Yes, Dr. Kaseke had a wife and children in Belize and in fact leaves a young daughter—I think Jane is perhaps a preteen.”
“In terms of his career, I understand that he was a solicitor general under your tenure as Attorney General?”
“Dr. Kaseke had a most distinguished legal career in Belize. When I met him I didn’t know at the time that he was responsible for drafting most of the laws of Belize—I’d say from 2007 going back at least a dozen years or so—Dr. Kaseke was responsible for drafting virtually all of those laws of Belize. So he was a most distinguished draftsman. Proof of that I think lies in the fact that even the CARICOM secretariat from time to time would use him as a consultant to help them draft laws; harmonization laws for the Caribbean community. So his skill as a draftsperson was well known. I think as well certainly one of his distinguishing features or what he leaves as a serious part of his legal legacy is his work as the commissioner for law review—bringing the laws up to date; the set of laws, the nine volumes as they stand (Revised Edition 2000) is the work of Dr. Kaseke as commissioner. The 2005 Supreme Court rules, which is an attempt to modernize the rules governing the Supreme Court so that cases move more efficiently and hopefully less costly, again he was at the center of that as the draftsperson preparing that. The laws of Belize online would not have been possible when we achieve that. Without the efforts of Dr. Kaseke; his capacity for work was simply prodigious—the man worked late into the night; weekends and weekdays made no difference to him. While he was busy doing all of that modernizing the laws, getting them online and updating the law of Belize, he was also able to get in work; a thesis for his PHD from the University of South Africa—one of the country’s leading most knowledgeable practitioners in terms of intellectual. And of course as a litigator, as a courtroom fighter and warrior; I think it is well known to many people that Kaseke was jogged, determined, tenacious in his work as a litigator, as one of the practitioners at the Bar in Belize. So certainly his work is recognized and will missed severely.”
Kaseke’s body is being brought back to Belize for burial.