CHIEF Justice Irene Mambilima says the Judiciary will remember and honour Constitutional Court Judge Enock Mulembe’s memory for his selfless service to the institution and the cause of justice, as well as the promotion of human rights.
And Justice Mambilima says the judge will fondly be remembered not only for his well-reasoned decisions, but also his wise counsel to lawyers and litigants alike.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka says Zambia has lost a focused and courageous judge, adding that judge Mulembe will be remembered as a resolute champion of justice, who expected the best from everyone.
Judge Mulembe died last Thursday, December 17, 2020, at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Lusaka, barely a month after celebrating his 52nd birthday.
He leaves behind a wife and three children.
Speaking during the special valedictory session, Monday, Justice Mambilima said judge Mulembe’s sudden death had been received by everyone on the bench with a deep sense of shock.
She added that those who worked closely with him would remember him as a hardworking and meticulous Judge, who stood for justice and human rights.
“The late Honourable Mr Justice Mulembe came to the Bench only four years ago, on March 11, 2016, having been appointed Judge of the Constitutional Court of Zambia. For us who worked closely with him, we remember him as an unassuming yet unpretentious, hardworking and meticulous judge who stood for justice and human rights. His knowledge and uncompromising views on human rights, constitutional and international law, were reflected in his judgments,” Justice Mambilima said.
She said the Judiciary would remember him and honour his memory for his selfless service to the institution and to the cause of justice.
“Looking back on the life and character of Justice Mulembe, we stand in awe of a man who dedicated 27 years of his life fighting for human rights. He maintained an impeccable record of hard work and dedication to duty. He will fondly be remembered not only for his well-reasoned decisions, but also for his wise counsel to lawyers and litigants alike. He inspired one and all, on even terms in his legal career. The Judiciary will remember him and will honour his memory for his selfless service to the institution and to the cause of justice and the promotion of human rights,” said Chief Justice Mambilima.
“I have no doubt, indeed, that our departed brother’s broad and diverse experience profoundly enriched his contribution to our institution, in particular and the people of Zambia in general. The late Mr Justice Mulembe ran his race as a defender of human rights and it remains for those of us whose lives he touched to keep his memory alive by following his footsteps. May the soul of our dear departed Honourable Mr Justice Enoch Kalimunda Mulembe, rest in eternal peace.”
And Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Abyudi Shonga said the Association was ripped with grief and struggling to accept the harsh reality of Judge Mulembe’s passing.
He said Judge Mulembe was in good standing with the Association and that his legal mind would be immortalised in the rulings rendered by the Constitutional Court.
Shonga said Judge Mulembe was exceptional in both his educational and professional career, adding that his humility would drive them to emulate him.
Meanwhile, Chief State Advocate Joe Simachela, who spoke on behalf of Kalaluka, said Judge Mulembe would be remembered as a resolute champion of justice who expected the best from everyone.
He added that Zambia had lost a focused and courageous judge, and that his hurried and unexpected death had shocked them.
Simachela, who was in the same class with the judge at the University of Zambia School of Law, said judge Mulembe would be missed because he had the ability to relate well with everyone around him.
Born on November 20, 1968 in Kabwe District of Central Province, Justice Mulembe started his career in law in 1989 when he enrolled at the University of Zambia (UNZA) to pursue a Bachelor of Laws degree.
Upon completion, he proceeded to the Law Practice Institute, now the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), where he sat for the Legal Practitioners’ Qualifying Examinations and was subsequently admitted to the Bar on December 30, 1993.
In June 1996, he obtained a Masters’ Degree in International Law from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Lund in Sweden.
Justice Mulembe also attained a Certificate in University Teaching and Research in Human Rights from the International Institute of Human Rights/International Centre for University Human Rights Teaching, in Strasbourg, France, in 1999.
A year later in 2000, he obtained a Postgraduate Advanced Diploma in International Protection of Human Rights from the Institute for Human Rights, Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland.
He also served as a Staff Development Fellow and Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Zambia and then joined the Permanent Human Rights Commission as Chief of Research and Planning in 1998.
In 2013, Justice Mulembe was appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of ZIALE, where he diligently managed the affairs of the Institute until his appointment as Judge.
At the time of his demise, Justice Mulembe was a member of the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission.
He was also a member of various professional bodies and boards.
Scores of mourners on Monday gathered at the Anglican cathedral of the Holy Cross to pay their last respects to Judge Mulembe.
In a tribute read by Namukolo Chipalo, Judge Mulembe’s widow, Carolina, described her husband as a humble man, who never forgot where he came from.
“My husband, you were a loving father; a humble husband who never forgot where you came from. You embraced everyone in the family and I shall miss you. Go well, my dear husband,” said Carolina.
In his sermon, Zambia Army Chaplin Brigadier General Apostle Vincent Mwenya urged the family to be strong and soldier on.
“I want to encourage and strengthen the children, wife and family to be strong and soldier on. Judge Mulembe is gone and it is for us now to prepare our lives because at some point, we shall all leave this world. Once again, be strong,” said Brigadier General Apostle Mwenya.
Earlier, Judge Mulembe’s was taken to the Supreme Court for the special valedictory session.
Among those who attended the service was Chief Justice Mambilima, her deputy Micheal Musonda, judges and several lawyers.