“We are not sure of the actual circumstances, but we are made to believe that there was pressure from somewhere, maybe the international community and some legal groups, to have a fresh determination of their case at the Supreme Court, and it appears this internal court process is what concluded that their conviction by the lower courts was irregular and dismissed their prison sentences. Hence, their sudden release!” revealed a source close to the happenings.
“What we can certainly say, for now, is that all our three leaders are free and will arrive in Mongu tomorrow!” confirmed the source, who further appealed to those who wish to welcome the gallant leaders to head to Mulambwa Grounds in Mongu tomorrow, Tuesday, between 8:00 hrs – 10:00hrs in the morning.
The source has further clarified that their release has nothing to do with the ongoing BRE/GRZ proposed ill-conceived dialogue process!
Afumba and two members of his constituted Barotseland transitional government were arrested, tried and convicted of the crime of treason felony under the laws of Zambia by the High Court for trying to implement the resolutions of the 2012 Barotse National Council, which called for the independence of Barotseland in view of Zambia's unilateral abrogation of the pre-independence Barotseland Agreement of 1964, but the Supreme Court has now reportedly dismissed and squashed their conviction by the lower court!
Since their arrest on 5th December 2014, Afumba Mombotwa, Inambao Kalima and Pelekelo Likando were moved to several Zambian prisons such as Kambule remand Prison (Mongu), Mwembeshi State prison, Mukobeko Maximum Prison (Kabwe) and finally separated and imprisoned at Luwingu, Kasama and Mansa state prisons respectively, where they continued to serve their irregular ten-year prison sentences with hard labour.
Although condemned to imprisonment in March 2016 after a bogus trial, the Zambian government refused to acknowledge their incarceration as political prisoners but continued to lie to the international community that the three were mere remandees yet to be convicted on serious treason crimes!