“MY FATHER’S STOLEN CATTLE INSPIRED ME TO DO LAW”
Lawyer Stories Zambia had the opportunity to interview Ms. Namwaka Mwala, AHCZ. We hope her story inspires you. Enjoy!
Q: Who is Namwaka?
A: She is an Advocate of the High Court of Zambia. Namwaka did her Bachelor of Laws at University of Lusaka from 2011 to 2014. In 2016, she passed her practitioner’s exams and was called to the noble rank of the Zambian Bar on the 26th April, 2018 and She been practicing for 2 years. Well vested in Litigation, Legal Research, Corporate Law, Conveyancing, Family law, Employment Law, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law and Debt Collection. Currently working in the private sector, practicing with Messrs C.C. Mwansa & Associate, a law firm based Lusaka.
Q: What inspired you to study the Law?
A: I remember growing up, I always wanted to be an Accountant like my late father because I was so good at mathematics, but things changed when I was in Grade 10 when my late father’s herd of cattle were stolen. It was a huge drawback on the family. The matter was taken to court and every time the matter came up, I was eager to hear the stories about how the matter went, I would overhear him telling my mum that the prosecutor and the magistrate said this and that. That word prosecutor intrigued me and I was fascinated by it. I remember telling my father that I want to study law when I complete my education and he supported me with my decision. Aside from that, I also wanted to contribute to the legal system of Zambia by advocating for justice for vulnerable women and children.
Q: What was your greatest challenge in your journey as a Law student?
A: As a law student the greatest challenge I faced was at ZIALE because there were a lot of courses to study and each Lecturer was specific with what they wanted. I remember failing the mock exams and that was a wake-up call for me. It was so emotional for me being the best graduating student after failing the mocks exams at ZIALE. However, that worked to my advantage, it made me work harder that on first attempt I cleared 9 courses of 10 and the second sitting I cleared the course that remained. I thank God that I had a support system that encouraged me.
Q: What drives you to achieve goals?
A: I am a very determined and focused person who aims at achieving my goals no matter what. If plan A does not work I always reinforce plan B to get the intended results.
Q: The Legal practice exam conducted by ZIALE has continuously recorded less numbers of students passing the exam at first instance. In your opinion, what can be done to change this case?
A: The only way this can be achieved is for students to work hard and follow instructions. ZIALE is manageable.
Q: What is your take on Zambian women’s participation in politics and other leadership positions at the moment? Are we doing much as a country to quickly reach the 50 – 50 gender representation goals expressed in international and national legal frameworks?
A: Although the law in Zambia guarantees men and women equal rights concerning political participation and other leadership positions, there are factors that hinder women’s political participation such as the patriarchal system, low incomes and education levels. The low levels of female representation in Zambia are considered to undermine the quality of the country’s democracy.
To curb this, a lot needs to be done by the Government and Non – Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that advocate for women’s rights in order to achieve the 50 -50 gender representation goals, as expressed in international and national legal framework such as providing training for women political candidates to help their capacities, offering them voter and civic education and sensitization campaigns on gender equality and supporting their networking.
Q: If not the Law, what was your alternative career path?
A: Definitely Accounts or Economics
Q: What are your thoughts on Constitutional Amendment Bill 10 of 2019?
A: The Constitutional Amendment Bill 10 of 2019 has stripped the National Assembly of many of its powers and functions, for instance, it repeals provisions in the existing constitution which previously gave the National Assembly oversight over approving public debt before it is contracted. The Bill also intends to give the President power to enter into international treaties and agreements without the approval of the National Assembly. The Bill even goes a step further by allowing the president to create a province, or divide or merge a province, without any approval from the National Assembly. Removing National Assembly oversight in this manner deliberately concentrates power in the hands of the Executive.
Q: Recent debates have been raised on the wearing of Wigs by Judges and Legal practitioners in most African states. Arguments are that the wigs are colonial and should be abandoned. What are your thoughts on this subject?
A: Wigs worn by Judges and Legal Practitioners are part of the uniform, items that elevate a court room despite their colonial links. They represent more than the British tradition, but something that distinguishes Judges and Legal Practitioners from other people in the court auditorium. I don’t feel at all that it has any negative connotation of colonialism. Moreover it carries some prestige
Q: What is your best advice to Law students?
A: Be teachable and always go an extra mile in terms of your studies and I guarantee you that you will succeed no matter what.
– Lawyer Stories Zambia