A Look at Zambia Constitutional Court Judges
By John Sangwa
These are Constitutional Judges qualifications,, MRS JUSTICE ANNE MWEWA SITALI CV. Hon. Mrs Justice Anne Mwewa-Sitali as Judge of the Constitutional. The Nominee was admitted to the Bar 1987, and practised law initially as Legal Aid Counsel from 1987 until 1988. The Nominee then joined the Attorney General’s Chambers in 1989, where the Nominee served in various capacities until 2001, when the Nominee took up the position of Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel. If the years spent at Legal Aid are taken into account, the Nominee may be said to have practised law for a period of 14 years (from 1987 to 2001), which is still below the period specified in Article 141 of the Constitution. Furthermore, DURING THE PERIOD IN ISSUE THE NOMINEE DID NOT PROSECUTE OR DEFEND ANY CASE IN THE AREA OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OR HUMAN RIGHTS LAW. The Nominee did not disclose in the CV, the cases prosecuted or defended in the area of constitutional law or human rights. Even the perusal of the Zambia Law Reports for the period revealed no constitutional law or human rights law case that was prosecuted or defended by the Nominee. The Nominee lacks both the fifteen years’ experience as legal practitioner and specialized training or experience inhuman rights or constitutional law. The Nominee does not therefore qualify for appointment as Judge of the Constitutional Court. HONORABLE MRS. JUSTICE MUGENI SIWALE-MULENGA: DEPUTY PRESIDENT The Nominee was admitted to the Bar in 1995, having graduated from the School of Law of the University of Zambia, in 1994.The Nominee holds a Master of Laws Degree, which is neither in constitutional law nor human rights law. Soon after admission to the Bar, the Nominee joined the Attorney General’s Chambers where the Nominee occupied the position of State Advocate and later as Senior State Advocate. The Nominee practiced law for a period of two years in the Civil Litigation and Debt Collection Department from 1995 to 1997. There is no evidence that during this period the Nominee prosecuted or defended any case, in the area of constitutional law or human rights law. Between 1997 and 2000, the Nominee served in the Attorney General’s Chambers in the International Law and Agreements Department. The Nominee’s work involved negotiating local and multilateral agreements on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia. For the period of nine years, from 2000 to 2009, the Nominee was the Secretary to the National Water and Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), where the Nominees’ responsibilities did not involve any court work, but providing secretarial and legal advisory services to the Council. For a brief period, 2009 to 2010, the Nominee served as Acting Director of NWASCO. The Nominee has only practiced law for a period of two years whilst in the Attorney General’s Chambers, a period which is way short of what is stipulated in Article 141 of the Constitution. The Nominee has no special training or experience in human rights law or constitutional law. The Nominee is therefore not a suitable candidate for appointment as Judge, let alone as Deputy President of the Constitutional Court. PROFESSOR MULELA MARGARET MUNALULA
The Nominee was admitted to the Bar in 1982. According to the CV, the Nominee’s court experience is limited to two years spent as Resident Magistrate, though the exact period is not specified in the CV. Thereafter the Nominee spent six years as a Senior Legal Officer in the employ of Development Bank of Zambia and Lima Bank and the Nominee’s responsibilities were limited to drafting loan agreements and security documents. Thereafter the Nominee has taught law for the past 26 years. There is also no evidence of the Nominee having any experience in constitutional law or human rights law. The Nominee has never practiced law. There is no basis for appointing the Nominee to the Constitutional Court.
LADY JUSTICE HILDAH CHIBOMBA – PRESIDENT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT According to the CV, the Nominee was admitted to the Bar in 1982. For a period of four years (1982-1986), the Nominee served as a Resident Magistrate at Kitwe and Lusaka. Between 1986 and 1989, the Nominee served as a Senior Resident Magistrate. The Nominee’s only stint as a legal practitioner started when the Nominee joined the Ministry of Justice and this was only for a period of four years. Between 1989 and 1990, the Nominee served as Assistant Senior State Advocate, in Civil Litigation. Between 1990 and 1993, the Nominee rose to the position of and served as Senior State Advocate. This marked the end of the Nominee’s career as a legal practitioner. Perusal of the Zambia Law Reports for the period revealed no case that was prosecuted or defended by the Nominee. Thereafter, for a period of four years from 1993 to 1997, the Nominee assumed the position of Principal State Advocate in charge of International Law and Agreements Department, in the Ministry of Justice, which position did not include court work. The Nominee joined the Judiciary as a Judge of the High Court on 1st October 1997 and in 2009, the Nominee was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court. The Nominee only practiced law for a period of four years, which is far less than the fifteen year period stipulated in Article 141 of the Constitution. There is equally nothing in the Nominee’s CV, which shows that the Nominee has specialized training or experience in human rights law or constitutional law. Similarly, there is nothing in the Nominee’s CV, which shows that during the time the Nominee practiced law, the Nominee dealt with any case, which arose in the area of constitutional law or human rights. The Nominee does not qualify for appointment as President or Judge of the Constitutional Court.
AMBASSADOR PALAN MULONDA The Nominee was admitted to the Bar in 1995, and joined the Ministry of Justice in 1996, where he served as Assistant Senior State Advocate involved in Civil Litigation and International Legal Agreements until 2000. Between 2000 and 2003, the Nominee served a Deputy Director responsible for Human Rights and Treaties in the Attorney General’s Chambers. According to the Nominee’s CV, the Nominee IS SAID TO HAVE BEEN A PARTNER IN THE LAW FIRM CALLED PALA N & GEORGE BETWEEN 2003 AND 2006. Thereafter the Nominee joined the School of Law of the University of Zambia where he is said to have lectured and tutored in Constitutional Law and Administrative Law. Between 2009 and 2012, the Nominee served as Director of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE). The Nominee has been Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States since 2012. The Nominee does not mention any case that he has prosecuted in the area of constitutional law or human rights law whilst at the Attorney General’s Chambers or while he served as a Partner in the firm of Palan & George. The Nominee lacks both the requisite number of years as a legal practitioner as well as experience in constitutional law and human rights law matter.