DURBAN – A FEW days after Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda’s death, the country has suffered another loss with the death of Irene Mambilima, Zambia’s first female chief justice.
Mambilima, 69, died on Sunday, at an Egypt hospital, after a short illness while on an official tour.
UN co-ordinator in Zambia, Dr Coumba Gadio, said Mambilima played a huge role in the judiciary of her country.
“She was a resolute champion of justice and jurist of historic stature. Her death is a great loss to Zambia and the legal fraternity, and the many lives she touched,” UN Zambia tweeted.
.@UNZambia is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the Chief Justice of the Republic of #Zambia, Honourable Mrs Irene Mambilima. She was a great partner of the UN. We extend our deepest condolences and solidarity to the family and the Government and people of Zambia. pic.twitter.com/UmA1YcBocz
— UN Zambia (@UNZambia) June 21, 2021
Mambilima was a highly placed member of the International Association of Women Judges, as well as the Zambia Association of Women Judges. She obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Zambia and a Master of Laws degree from the University of London. She was admitted to the bar in 1977.
She served in various positions since she first joined the Zambian judiciary, as a commissioner of the High Court in 1985. She served as a judge of the High Court, from 1989 to 2002. In 2003, she served as sessional judge of the Supreme Court of the Gambia.
Mambilima twice served as the country’s chief of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), between 2005 and 2015.
She participated in election observer missions in Mozambique, Kenya, Seychelles and Liberia.