Nyasha Mupungu, Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has accorded a State-assisted funeral to the late deputy chairperson of the Zimbabwe Law Development Commission and a law reviser, Mr Joel Bigboy Zowa, who died last week in New York while on national duty.
Mr Zowa, a luminary, was at the helm of the revision, harmonisation, development and reform of the laws of Zimbabwe.
Mr Zowa (66), who died on Friday evening, is survived by a wife, two sons and two grandchildren.
In a statement, President Mnangagwa joined the Zowa family in mourning the legal icon saying he was a dedicated and examplary civil servant who deserves a State-Assisted funeral.
“I learnt with great shock and sadness of the death of Mr Joel Bigboy Zowa, Deputy chairperson of the Law Development Commission and a law reviser of Zimbabwe, who passed on in New York, United States of America, on Friday 12 July 2019…
“On behalf of Government and the Party Zanu-PF, on my own behalf and that of my family, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to Mr Zowa’s family following the loss of a father, breadwinner and mentor.
“May they derive comfort from the knowledge that the whole nation stands with them during this darkest hour of grief and pain.
“In recognition of his exemplary work in both private and public office, the late Joel Bigboy Zowa will be given a State-Assisted funeral,” he said.
The Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Afffairs, in a separate statement, described Mr Zowa as a legal icon that has greatly contributed to the development of law in the country.
“The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi, Attorney General, Advocate Prince Machaya, Permanent Secretary, Mrs Virginia Mabiza, Deputy Attorney General, Mr N Dias, Directors and staff join the Zowa family in mourning the untimely passing on of the Deputy Chairman of the Law Development Commission Mr Joel Bigboy Zowa.
“Indeed, the legal fraternity and the nation have been robbed of a great luminary and an intellectual par excellence whose dedication and loyalty to the ideals of constitutionalism was beyond reproach.
“The Nation has lost a supreme legal advisor, lecturer, law reviser and principled leader who remained at the core of national duty in the quest to attain an equitable and just legal system through revision, harmonisation, development and reform of the laws of Zimbabwe,” reads the statement.
Mr Zowa joined the public service in the 1970s as a junior officer in the Ministry of Local Government and rose through the ranks to become chief executive officer of the then Midlands Provincial Authority.
He studied law and served as a legal practitioner in private practice before joining the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Law as a lecturer.
Mr Zowa was elevated to be the Dean of Law, a position he held until his retirement.
After retirement, Mr Zowa continued serving as a part-time lecturer.
During his illustrious career, Mr Zowa served as a commissioner on the Constitutional Commission, which was chaired by the late national hero, Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
He later became deputy chairperson of the Law Development Commission and Law Reviser, positions he held until his death.
Mr Zowa was born on August 16, 1953 and did his primary education at Bumburwi Primary School in Gweru.
He attended Fletcher High School for secondary education.