Chief Justice Martha Koome has eulogized her Zambian counterpart Irene Chirwa Mambilima who passed away on Sunday, June 20, while on official duty in Egypt.
The CJ had travelled to Cairo on June 10 for an official business but felt ill while in Egypt.
In her message of condolences to the CJ’s family and people of Zambia, Koome stated that Mambilima was a beacon and trailblazer.
The fallen CJ was appointed as the first Zambian female CJ in June 2015.
Before being appointed as the CJ, Mambilima served her nation in other capacities, as an Assistant CJ as well as the Supreme Court Judge and High Court Judge.
Mambilima worked as the chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, where she oversaw several Parliamentary and Presidential elections.
Koome further said that Mambilima would be remembered fondly for her impact not only in Zambia but also in Africa at large.
“She worked as a Sessional Judge of the Supreme Court of Gambia in 2003 and also undertook international missions in different countries across Africa Continent, including Kenya a s an elections observer,” Koome stated.
Koome also noted that the Kenyan Judiciary was privileged to work with the late CJ in various regional and international forums for judiciaries.
“Mambilima was an ever-present voice in the Commonwealth Judges and Magistrates Associations(CMJA) summits, World Bank forums on justice and the rule of law among many other forums,” she added.
She added that as an official and active member of the International Associations of Women Judges, Mambilima mentored many, boosting the confidence of women and girls to occupy their space in nation-building.
The death of the Zambian CJ comes as Zambia continues to mourn the death of its founding leader Kenneth Kaunda.
Kaunda died at the age of 97 in Lusaka, Zambia, on Thursday after being hospitalized for a few days.
Kaunda succumbed to pneumonia in the hospital in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka.
He is known for leading Zambia into independence from Britain and went on to rule the country from 1964 to 1991.