An obituary

Former UCAZ Secretary General, Joel Bigboy Zowa
(16 August 1953 – 12 July 2019)

Former UCAZ Secretary General, Mr Joel Bigboy Zowa is no more. He died on 12 July 2019 while attending a high level meeting in New York, the United States of America. He was 65. Mr Zowa joined UCAZ as Secretary General from the University of Zimbabwe where he was the Dean of the Faculty of Law.

Mr Zowa is credited with the transformation of UCAZ from an organisation whose main focus was to organise meetings of the structures of the Association to an organisation with a wider mandate which includes lobbying and advocacy, resource mobilisation, capacity building of the members and their elected leadership among other responsibilities. 

Below is an obituary written by the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mr Livingstone Mashange:

Early life
Popularly known in the academic circles as “J.B,” Mr Zowa was born on 16 August 1953, to David Nyamadzawo and Silvia Zowa (Nee Pindura). He was the fifth in a family of five boys and four girls.

He did his primary education at Bumburwi Primary School, before proceeding to Fletcher High School for his secondary education.

Professional life

He trained in local government at Domboshava Training Centre. He worked in the Ministry of Local Government in the 70’s and early 80’s rising through the ranks to become the Chief Executive Officer of the then Midlands Provincial Authority, whose mandate was rural infrastructure development such as building of schools and clinics in the Province after independence.

In 1984 he left Local Government to study Law at the University of Zimbabwe. He obtained a Bachelor of Law (BL Hons) and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degrees in 1986 and 1987 respectively. He was registered as a Legal Practitioner on the 31 st of March 1988. He joined Coglan, Welsh and Guest Legal Practitioners as a Professional Assistant from February 1988 to June 1990. In June 1990 he joined the Department of Procedural Law at the University of Zimbabwe as a lecturer and later became Chairperson of the Department in 1991. In 1993 he joined the Law Society of Zimbabwe as a Councillor. At the University of Zimbabwe, he became the Dean of the Faculty of Law between 1996 and 1999. He was appointed a commissioner of the Constitutional Commission headed by Justice Chidyausiku in 2000.

Mr Zowa also served as the Secretary General of the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe from 1998 to 2003. He was then appointed as the Deputy Chairperson of the Law Development Commission in 2003, a post he held until his untimely death. He also served on the Council for Legal Education.

Mr Zowa continued lecturing at the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Law, until his retirement in December 2018. In a statement the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs said: 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. Mr Zowa also served as a Board Member of the National Museums and Monuments Board and the Transparency International Zimbabwe.

Mr Zowa is survived by his wife and two children; Tinashe and Tamuka and two grandchildren.

May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.