The Zambian judiciary announced this week that one of its members, Supreme Court Justice Mumba Malila, had been given the 2019 Zambian Human Rights Commission Award for his contribution to human rights in Zambia and in Africa.

Timed to coincide with Human Rights Day on 10 December, the award ceremony was attended by the Minister of Justice, the UN resident coordinator, Dr Coumba Mar Gadio, as well as the commissioner of the International Commission on the death penalty and former Mongolian President, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. 

Explaining the decision to honour Justice Malila, the Human Rights Commission’s citation mentioned his ‘immense contribution’ to the cause of human rights when he served as chair of Zambia’s HRC before he was appointed Attorney-General.

‘Justice Malila also served as a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for six years’, for part of which he was the commission’s vice chair.

During his time as commissioner, he was special rapporteur for prisons and conditions of detention in Africa, he chaired the working group on extractive industries and human rights violations in Africa and he was a member of the working group on indigenous populations.

The HRC also mentioned the many ‘human rights assignments’ he had undertaken both in Zambia and elsewhere, as well as the many books and articles he has written on human rights issues.

Zambia's vice president, Inonge Mutukwa Wina, presented the award. Speaking afterwards, she urged that Justice Malila should not let up in his 'promotion of human rights for all'.