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Alba Iulia
Saturday, June 19, 2021

Senior lawyers blamed for high failure rate at ZIALE

General News Senior lawyers blamed for high failure rate at ZIALE

PART of the 64 lawyers who were admitted to the bar during the Call Day for Petitioners in Lusaka
PART of the 64 lawyers who were admitted to the bar during the Call
Day for Petitioners in Lusaka

THE Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission has heard that the high failure rate of students at Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) is a result of senior lawyers who allegedly don’t want the market to be saturated.

Making submissions before the Justice Frederick Chomba-chaired commission on Wednesday, Martin Chewe, a retired teacher, said he finds it difficult to understand why less than 10 out of 200 students graduate from ZIALE.

“There are concerns that senior lawyers, who are lecturers, don’t want new entrants in the market hence the high failure rate. I somehow believe this because a well prepared candidate cannot fail an examination, I know this because I am a retired teacher,” he said.

But Justice Chomba, who is former ZIALE director, said students should concentrate on mastering law practice and civil procedures.

“In college, they learn academics and these bright students are too presumptuous that ZIALE is a walkover. They tend to lose focus in class; others walk out to respond to phone calls while classes are in session,” he said.

And Commissioner George Chisanga asked Mr Chewe which was feasible between a government loan scheme and slashing of fees.

In response, Mr Chewe said a loan scheme is better but that lawyers in the private sector should allocate a certain fee to ZIALE since they benefit more than the government.

Another petitioner has submitted before the commission that discretion should be exercised when executing the 15-year jail term for defilers as some victims allegedly consent to sexual intercourse.

Clive Simwanza, a father of two girls, told the commission that he is in support of stiffer punishment of defilers.

“My perception changed when a niece (below 16 years) who was under my custody got pregnant by a man aged 21 years. It was a clear case of defilement but when we had a discussion, we realised that there was consent between the two.

“They were in a relationship and so we thought about the whole issue and decided to resolve it as families. I submit that discretion should be exercised in certain cases as much as we want to stop this problem,” he said.

But Commissioner Anne Nhekhairo told Mr Simwanza that a minor by law is incapable of giving consent.

In response, Mr Simwanza said Zambia should start enacting laws that suit local scenarios.

“Some of our minors know the dos and don’ts of sexual activities and so maybe a sentence of five years can be applicable so that a culprit is given time to re-organise since the minimum of 15 years is too much,” he said.

Earlier, Senanga district commissioner Beatrice Imbwae urged people to make meaningful submissions to ensure that a reformed legal and justice system is implemented.


  1. No NO NO,dont blame it on the lecturers,the whole education system needs overhauling.Zambian education has lost value,since leakages became the norm.I suspect,that is what is at play here,students expecting to pass the exams using other means.

    • ZIALE should be left to run independently without any interference from thegovernment. There are a lot of private universities offering substandard education,and as long as one can manage to pay for there fees, graduation is not a problem. Let ZIALE offer the checks and balances for this profession on all the graduates in order to ensure that the country has quality lawyers.

  2. Lecturers at ZIALE can’t leak exams for fear of saturating the market which is a good thing, but I feel this done out of selfishness and not because of ethics!

  3. Students should just work hard, too much leakeges starting frm grade 7 to grade 12. Do you expect the product of mal-practice to perform well where there are no leakages? The answer is no.

  4. The Justice Reform Commission has one major problem. They are supposed to be taking submissions which they wl discuss and make a final report. Unfortunately, they are entangling people making submissions

  5. Leakages and cell phones are not the issue here. The problem of ZIALE has been there even before cell phones and leakages in Zambia.

  6. So out of 200 students, 193 of them came from substandard Universities? or didn’t pay attention in the ZIALE classes? Or are too presumptuous that ZIALE is a walkover? Or that they tend to lose focus in class answering phones?

    Let’s be fair here. Even if some people claim that the education system has declined, a 4% pass rate is very unrealistic.

    • The 4% pass rate indicates the low caliber of the teaching staff or techniques used in teaching. It is not right to be shielding the law profession to become a closed society, so that the few who make it can harvest the cash from unsuspecting public. ZIALE should reform and reconsider its position of failing students.

  7. Yes one may suspect there is something wrong at ZIALE. How can 10 pass out of 200? No no investigate what the problem is. Or can remark the papers using an external examiner so that the truth is found.

  8. People should put the word out so no one enrols there. Then they’ll close. Why are they taking peoples money without delivery the education they should deliver? If they want to graduate ten people they should enrol only ten and make those graduate, period.

  9. Thiz old madala lawyers r very selfish,its nat normal fo only 8 to graduate out of 200,i suggest that we find a competitor for ziale

  10. ZIALE does not work on the interest of ensuring that lawyers are affordable for the masses but that the ordinary people may be exploited by the privileged few and corporations.

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