THE Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has expressed grief over the death of the Chief Justice of Zambia Irene Chirwa Mambilima on Sunday in Cairo, Egypt.
Chief Justice Mambilima was attending a high-level meeting for Chief Justices and Presidents of African Constitutional and Supreme Courts and Constitutional Council in Egypt, when she died.
In a statement, JSC said Chief Justice Luke Malaba, judges of all courts, all magistrates, Commissioners of the JSC and all other members of the Judicial Service expressed shock and profound sadness on the death of Chief Justice Mambilima.
The JSC said it interacted often with Chief Justice Mambilima and the sister judiciary of Zambia, with which it shared deep historical ties.
Justice Mambilima was also the vice chairperson of the Southern Africa Chief Justices’ Forum (SAJEF) of which Zimbabwe is a member.
“During our countless engagements, the Zambian and Zimbabwean judiciaries developed strategies and shared experiences aimed at fostering judicial independence, the development of jurisprudence and strengthen the general administration of justice not only in the two countries but the entire Southern African region,” said the JSC.
“We are aware of the grief that our brothers and sisters in Zambia have been plunged into by the tragic and unexpected passing on of Chief Justice Mambilima.
“The grief is made more unbearable as it comes at a time when Zambia is still mourning the departure of Zambia’s founding father and liberation of Southern Africa icon, Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
“We wish to express our profound and heartfelt condolences to the people of Zambia generally and members of the Zambian judiciary in particular.
“We pray that the Mambilima family gets comfort from the Lord and find strength in the immeasurable contributions to the administration of justice in Zambia for which the late Chief Justice sacrificed her entire life,” said JSC.
Zambia’s Deputy Chief Justice Michael Musonda said arrangements to repatriate the body of Justice Mambilima were underway and urged mourners to comply with pandemic’s health guidelines and stick to the restricted number of 50 people.
Justice Musonda said books of condolences have been opened at the Supreme Court in Zambia and the funeral house for those wishing to pass their messages of condolence until the date of burial.