Newly elected Malawian president Lazarus Chakwera appointed lawyer Dr Chikosa Silungwe as the new Attorney General yesterday, a move that has brought the dreadlocked counsel in the international limelight.
Dr. Silungwe is a lawyer and a member of the Malawi Bar with a wealth of legal experience. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the Universitiy of Malawi and mastered his craft from Warwick. He later attained a PhD in law from the same university.
Professionally, he is an expert in Constitutional Law; Constitutional Theory; Gender and Land relations; Governance; Land Law; Land Reform; Law Reform; Law in Development; Legislative Drafting; Political Economy; Public International Law; and Property law.
Perhaps what is even more interesting, especially for our legal practice in Uganda, the new Attorney General has dreadlocks. A sight like his is unrare in Uganda’s legal practice and is so deep rooted that even law students are not expected to have dreadlocks as part of their dress code.
At the Law Development Centre (LDC) the rules regarding dresscode are fiercely enforced as it is the bridge between students and the mainstream legal practice.
“Even a long beard is prohibited at the centre. Now imagine dreadlocks.” An anonymous student at LDC told this website.
As more and more distinguished lawyers like him continue to make statements in the world, maybe Uganda’s systems will start to appreciate that what matters is only the content of your brain.
Dr. Silungwe was also one of the lead lawyers in the Chakwera & Chilima electoral petition case that led to the re-run which saw Chakwera emerging victorius.