I mourned my father in prison – Munyinda

18 July 2017
Author  Sibeta Mundia

“Learning about my father’s death was shocking and depressing. Thankfully, other prison inmates comforted me,” recently released Barotseland Activist, Munyinda Munukayumbwa has lamented in an exclusive interview with Barotseland Post.

Munyinda, 23, was in a Zambian prison for 3 months in unlawful detention over some trumped up charge of arson, later changed to 'seditious practices' until his release on 12th July, 2017 without ever going to trial for lack of credible evidence to support his alleged criminality.

When asked to comment on his experiences in jail, Munyinda said the most depressing part of his imprisonment was learning about the death of his father.

Q: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RELEASE?

A: “Firstly, I glorify the Almighty God who was with me during my incarceration. I would like to thank my family and friends for the support I received during my imprisonment; helping me with daily needs and taking time to visit me while I was in Mongu Central Prison.

“I wish to also thank the Officers at Mongu Central Prison as well as my fellow inmates who became like my family in that period.”

Q: HOW AND WHY WERE YOU ARRESTED?

A: “On April 21st, I was apprehended by 6 police officers while I was riding a bicycle along Airport Road.

“I was taken to Mungu Central Prison where they told me that I was the one who burnt down the Sulu Local Court. Without further interrogation, I was thrown into police cells until the 27th of April, 2017 when the docket was opened for the case of ‘Arson’. They grabbed my phone which I later learned was taken to Lusaka for forensic examination.

“Surprisingly, on the 28th of April, I was interrogated for a charge of Seditious Practices. It was then that I realized my charge had been changed and on May 3rd, I was taken to court where I appeared before Magistrate Malata for the same charge of Seditious Practices over some Facebook post they attributed to me allegedly made in 2015.

“Magistrate Malata read the charge but I was not permitted to take any plea due to the fact that Prosecution had not received any instructions from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

“Although Prosecution did not object to my bail request, Magistrate Malata refused to grant bail without citing any reason for his objection. As such, I was taken to Mongu Central Prison where I spent the rest of my days.”

Q: WHAT WAS YOUR WORST EXPERIENCE IN JAIL?

A: “My most shocking and depressing moment in prison was learning about the death of my father. It happened on the 5th of June when I received the news about his passing. I was shocked and depressed. I felt very bad. But thankfully, my fellow inmates comforted me. I mourned my dad while I was in prison and could not attend his burial.

“I then thought to myself ‘My father’s death should count for something.’ I accepted the situation with a vow to dedicate my future life struggle in honor of his memory. I decided I would fight for my freedom.

“On July 12th, Prosecution received instructions from the DPP that the state wished to enter a Nolle Prosequi in my case. I was therefore released.”

Q: WHAT NEXT NOW THAT YOU ARE FREE?

A: “Aluta continua! Vengeance belongs to God but my father’s death will not be in vain and this experience does not shake my belief in the rights of the Barotse people for which I will continue to peacefully advocate.”

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The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.