Damian Z. LUBUVA

LLB. (Hons): 1966

A well-known man of law and former justice of the court, Judge Damian Zefrin Lubuva is an alumnus of the University of Dar es Salaam, of the graduating class of 1966. He was born on 21st September, 1940 in the village of Haubi in Kondoa district of Dodoma region. This was the time of colonial rule in what was then British Tanganyika. He began primary education at the age of nine, in 1949, at Kuta district primary school, from where, after 1952, he moved to middle school at St. Gabriel Catholic Kondoa from 1953 to 1956. In 1957 he moved on to Form I (then Standard 9) of secondary education at St. Francis School in Pugu in Dar es Salaam in 1957. This was a full stretch of six years of secondary education at the same school well until Form VI in 1962. With an exemplary record of performance, in 1966,  Damian secured a place at the only university institution then¾University College Dar es Salaam (UCD) of the University of East Africa, for degree studies in law. He was one of the fw students in that small class of students of their cohort¾including himself, Barnabas Samatta, Joe Kanywanyi,  Joseph Warioba and Arthur Peter Mutharika of Malawi [lately President of Malawi, May 2014-June 2020].

In April 1966, upon completing university studies at UCD, he was posted by the Government to the Attorney-General’s Chambers as a state attorney. He served there in that capacity for two years until 1968, when he was seconded to the Permanent Commission of Enquiry as  a legal counsel (1968-1969). The Commission had been established in 1966 as an ‘Ombudsman’ to function as a mechanism by which citizens could protect themselves from abuse of governmental power, with independent and non-partisan officers of the legislature in the exercise against administrative injustice and maladministration. From 1969 to 1972 he worked as a government senior state attorney in the Arusha Zone, afterwards being appointed senior legal counsel in the Attorney General’s Chambers. From 1975 to 1976 Mr Lubuva served as Chief Legal Manager in the Tanzania Legal Corporation (TLC). In 1976, he was appointed Deputy Attorney-General in Zanzibar, the position he maintained until 1977 when he assumed the full title of Attorney-General for the Revolutionary Council in Zanzibar. He served in Zanzibar until 1983.

In the years of 1984 and 1985, Mr. Lubuva was appointed Chairman to the Commission for Law Reform, the Commission which had been legislated (back in 1980) to take and keep under review all the laws of the United Republic with a view to their systematic development and reform. These eight years at the Commission were followed by a combined political-professional appointment of Minister of State for Law and Attorney-General, a position he held until 2008 when he was appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal at the pinnacle of the country’s judicial system. Justice Lubuva served on the Tanzania Court of Appeal for one year until 2009 when he retired at the mandatory age for appelite judges.  But previous to this, from 2005 to September 2008, Judge Lubuva had served also as a member to the Judicial Service Commission of Tanzania, a structural imstrument set up to advise the highest authority in the land (the President) on matters of appointments, discipline and remuneration of Judges of the High Court.

The record of Justice Lubuva’s career and service would be incomplete without an addition of more of what he did beyond that year of 2009 of his formal retirement. For, a few significant appointments did ensue thereafter. These include the following:

  • Chairmanship of the Council for the Ethics Secretariat for Public Leaders [Baraza la Maadili ya Viongozi wa Umma] (2009-2011);
  • Chairmanship  of the National Election Commission (NEC) a clearly heavy and sensitive status-role that took him not less than four years until a new general election (19th December 2011-2015);
  • Chairmanship to the Executive Committee of the Election Commissions of the Southern African Development Community, SADC (2012-2014), and
  • Chairmanship of the Council of the University of Dar es Salaam (2017-2022).

The University of Dar es Salaam, alma mater to Damian Zefrin Lubuva, fully recognizes and appreciates the contribution that he has rendered to the wider community in Tanzania, and particularly to the growth and development of the legal system in the country.