Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa has retired at the age of 65 years after serving in the legal fraternity for 38 years.
And Justice Mwanamwabwa has dispelled allegations on the Zambian Watchdog website that he had been retired in national interest, describing the remarks on the online publication as ‘foolish’.
Yesterday, the Judiciary held a colourful valedictory Court Session to mark the retirement of Justice Mwanamwambwa who has been practising for 38 years and was also celebrating his 65th birthday on the same day.
Those in attendance included among others; Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini; Minister of Justice Given Lubinda, former Speaker of the National Assembly Amusa Mwanamwambwa, former Chief Justice Ernest Sakala, some members of parliament, judges and lawyers.
And during the session, Chief Justice Irene Mambilima, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, Director of Public Prosecutions Lilian Siyunyi, Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Eddie Mwitwa and Justice Mwila Chitabo gave their tributes.
Journalists were also allowed to take photographs and to record in court.
Justice Mwanamwambwa was born on March 18, 1954, in Kalabo District.
He married his wife Catherine in 1985, and the duo have four children together.
Justice Mwanamwambwa obtained his bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Zambia in 1979 and was admitted to the Bar on December 23, 1981.
He joined the bench as High Court Judge on November 14, 1999.
Justice Mwanamwambwa rose through the ranks and became acting Chief Justice on March 4, 2014, and on July 24, 2015, he was confirmed as deputy Chief Justice, the office he held till Monday, March 18.
The valedictory started with Justice Mwanamwambwa sharing one of his memorable judgements during his years of practice, which was delivered on June 23, 2016, involving the Post Newspaper Limited.
In this matter, Justice Mwanamwabwa had ruled in favour of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in the case where the High Court granted the Post Newspapers a stay, which prevented ZRA from levying distress on the Post.
Justice Mwanamwambwa urged judges to uphold integrity and always base their judgements on the law.
He had further urged the courts not to be swayed by sympathy into making moral judgements.
“Even the government loses cases, we should not look at who is who. It is the duty of the Judiciary to protect its integrity through delivery of judgement in an independent and fair manner,” Justice Mwanamwabwa said.
And giving his retirement remarks, Justice Mwanamwambwa reiterated that corruption allegations against the Judiciary had the potential to erode investors’ confidence and weaken the economy of the country.
He made the gathering laugh after he disclosed to them that he joined law as a joke because he initially wanted to either do teaching or join the Zambia Army.
He added that to his surprise, his name appeared under the School of Law.
He insisted that he wilfully chose to retire at 65 years although the Constitution allowed him to retire at 70.
Justice Mwanamwambwa said allegations that President Edgar Lungu refused to renew his contract were fake and ‘foolish’ remarks, adding that he had written to the President in December, 2017, informing of his intentions to retire this year.
“I have not been retired in national interest. I have reached 65 years and I am retiring out of my own will. I do not have intentions to go up to 70 years,” he explained.
Chief Justice Irene Mambilima described Justice Mwanamwambwa as a gallant pillar of the Judiciary and a remarkable asset who would be remembered for his impartial work.
She said Justice Mwanamwambwa exhibited high order of personal integrity and was willing to serve the nation.
Attorney General Likando Kalaluka wished Justice Mwanamwambwa well as he retired, on behalf of the President and government.
Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa read the speech on behalf of the Attorney General.
Justice Mwanamwambwa’s classmate of 1979, High Court Judge Mwila Chitabo, recounted their memorable days at UNZA.
The courtroom erupted in laughter after he told a story of how Justice Mwanamwambwa met his ‘human being’ (wife).
Judge Chitabo added that Justice Mwanamwambwa was a fearless judge and focused person.
LAZ president Mweetwa said Justice Mwanamwambwa brought out the best of legal practice.
DPP Siyunji described the retired Justice as a pillar of the Judiciary.
She added that Justice Mwanamwambwa was supportive and contributed immensely to the history of the Zambian Judiciary.