The question is very important: Will the new Dawn Government Join Zambian Extraordinary Professor of Law at the University of Capetown, Evance Kalula, in supporting Zambian Legal Scholarship in terms of aiding financially their research and publications output? Other important assistance is of course mandated in terms of supporting student bursaries, loans, and infrastructural development in law schools and the universities they are based in.
Here is the picture of how law schools have been neglected for decades. The picture of the neglect of education as a whole is well known, as is that of the university and college scenes. I limit my submission to law schools only which will deepen the understanding and glimpse of the general picture. And because I teach in a law school, I understand the situation better and I am competent to talk about it. I don’t know what is happening in Engineering, Medicine, Accountancy, Business, Humanities and so on.
It used to be that when a student got admitted to university, the admission came with a bursary. When one got admitted to law school, one would be given a list of books one needed for criminal law etc and you would take that list to the bookstore and got all the books required at government and taxpayers’ cost. Your job was to study and write examinations.
Before you finished your studies, you would already have a full-time job in the market. Those that got good grades were earmarked for staff development employment at the university and then were sent abroad for further studies to get their LLMs and PhDs in Law and they came back to teach in the law school. That is how Professors Muna Ndulo, Patrick Mvunga, Kenneth Mwenda and many others became who they became. Those who had energy to research and write could do so and their products could be published in the Zambia Law Journal or other journals. The books by Muna Ndulo, John Hatchard, Patrick Mvunga and others received financial support in their publications and there were many publishing companies around.
Then financial support for universities in terms of scholarships, bursaries, publications and so on dried up. Legal scholars who wanted to publish were on their own. Publications costs in the private market went up. In the early 2000s, the Swedish Agency for International Development injected some money for legal publications to UNZALAW lectures. A spate of publications came out which are still used in many law schools.
Now here came Extraordinary Professor Evance Kalula. He used his position and access to the world famous book publisher Juta at Capetown to aid Zambian Legal Scholarship and publications support. He has supported an incredible number of publications by Zambian scholars some of which would never have seen the light of the day without that support. And some of these publications are finding their way in the law schools for use by students who would otherwise be starved of legal resources contained in these books.
I do not have the entire list by the books that I have access to but include the following:
Contract Law in Zambia by Sangwani Patrick Ng’ambi; Contract Law in Zambia by Ng’ambi and Chanda Chungu; The Law of Business Associations in Zambia by Dr. Justice Mumba Malila and Chanda Chungu; Administrative Law in Zambia by Annie Kangwa Chewe; A comprehensive Guide to Employment Law in Zambia by Justice Winnie Sithole and Chanda Chungu; Labour Law in Zambia by Chanda Chungu and Ernest Beele; Understanding Investment Law in Zambia by Sangwani Patrick Ng’ambi; Understanding Banking Law in Zambia by George Kanja; Understanding Professional Conduct and Ethics for Legal Practitioners in Zambia by Joseph Chirwa; Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Law in Zambia by Joseph Chirwa; Essential Text on Local Government Law in Zambia by Joseph Chirwa; Strategies and Techniques for Passing the Zambian Bar Exam: Company Law and Procedure by Brian J. Mwanza; Strategies and Techniques for Passing the Zambian Bar Exam: Probate and Succession by Brian J. Mwanza; Criminal Procedure and Practice in Zambia by Joseph Chirwa; Understanding Social Protection in Zambia by Chanda Chungu, N. Chisupa and A. Dumingu. I am told many others are in the pipeline.
Such an incredible output has been the result of one person who is better placed to aid others in need: in this case, to aid Zambian Legal Scholarship and publications for the benefit of the whole country Zambia. The new Dawn Government can come to the aid of the same. The government can join Extraordinary Professor Evance Kalula in this cause.
It should not be forgotten that Zambia had only produced 5 PhDs locally in 57 years of independence and none of these PhDs are teaching in law schools. Zambia currently has very few PhDs teaching in law schools, in fact, less than 10 and all of them were trained abroad as a number of those with LLMs. The Higher Education Authority requires a measurable number of PhDs and LLMs to be teaching in law schools. The numbers are not there. The law schools and the government do not sponsor or train more to take up the widening gap between supply and demand of legal scholars and publications. The New Dawn Government is called upon to come to the assistance of the Legal Academy. The academy is in dire need in all respects.
Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa is the Dean of Law at Zambian Open University and his recent book is ” Commentaries on the Laws of Zambia”. He trained in law in the US, Canada, France and Netherlands./SM