As he celebrates his 63rd birthday, Zambian President Edgar Lungu has pardoned five prisoners, among them Barotseland independence leader, Afumba Mombotwa, who was serving fifteen (15) years in maximum prison for taking an oath of office as Barotseland administrator general in his formed Barotseland transitional government in August of 2013 which would facilitate the peaceful and legal implementation of the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) unanimous resolutions for Barotseland independence from Zambia.
Afumba Mombotwa (60), has been in maximum prison since his arrest on 5th December 2014 with two other Barotseland compatriots and fellow prisoners, Inambao Kalima (59) and Likando Pelekelo (64).
Meanwhile, the fate of Kalima and Pelekelo is yet to be determined.
In a press statement by the Special Assistant to the President (Press and Public Relations) at State House, in Lusaka on Monday, 11th November 2019, to mark Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s 63rd birthday, the President of the Republic of Zambia pardoned the five inmates from various correctional facilities.
This was in the exercise of the powers vested in the Zambian President by Article 97 of the Constitution of Zambia Chapter (1) of the Laws of Zambia which provides for the Presidential pardon and substitution of severe punishment imposed on the convicted.
Others pardoned alongside Afumba are Chief Mulongwe, Maxwell Mwale - who is Former Minister in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government, Journalist Derrick Sinjela and former Zambian Airforce Commander Christopher Singongo.
Many Barotseland independence activists and international human rights watchdogs have been lobbying for the unconditional release of Afumba Mombotwa and his two Barotse patriots, and it is here hoped that the remaining two Barotseland political prisoners still in Zambian jail will be released sooner rather than later.