Chief Justice Martha Koome has sent a condolence message following the death of Zambia’s Chief Justice Hon Irene Chirwa Mambilima who passed on Sunday while in Cairo, Egypt on an official visit.
In a statement Monday, CJ Koome says Justice Mambilima was a beacon and a trail blazer, having been appointed the first woman Chief Justice of the Republic of Zambia in 2015.
“Prior to the appointment, she had served her nation in other capacities, not only as a Deputy Chief Justice but also a Supreme Court Judge and High Court Judge. As Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, she oversaw several Parliamentary and Presidential elections.” Said Koome.
She said Justice Mambilima will be remembered fondly for her impact not only in her country, Zambia, but also across Africa.
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The 69-year-old Justice Mambilima served as a Sessional Judge of the Supreme Court of the Gambia in 2003 and also undertook international missions in various countries across the Africa Continent, including Kenya, as an Elections Observer.
” The Kenya Judiciary was privileged to work with Justice Mambilima in various regional and international forums for judiciaries. She was an ever-present voice in the Commonwealth Judges and Magistrates Association (CMJA) meetings, World Bank forums on justice and the rule of law, among many others. Most notably, we experienced the Hon. Justice Mambilima’s leadership as the Deputy Chairperson of the Southern Africa Chief Justice’s Forum (SACJF) to which the Kenya Judiciary is affiliated.” Added Koome
CJ Koome noted that as an official and active member of the International Association of Women Judges, Justice Mambilima has mentored many and boosted the confidence of women and girls to take their space in nation building.
” To the Republic of Zambia, which is already in mourning, following the demise of the founding father of the nation, H.E. Kenneth Kaunda, this is a double tragedy, which makes it all the more painful. We send our sincere condolences. To the Hon. Justice Mambilima’s family, friends and indeed to the entire Republic of Zambia, may God grant you fortitude to bear the great loss. Even as we mourn her passing, we join you in celebrating the life of this great daughter of Zambia and we honour her for the enormous contribution in promoting democracy and the rule of law that she has made in her country, Africa and the world.” She said