Afumba and his colleagues were controversially convicted of high treason in March 2016 after a questionable protracted trial for their peaceful roles in political matters related to the abrogated and now-defunct 1964 Barotseland Agreement which the country, then Northern Rhodesia, signed with the disparate British Protectorate of Barotseland.
They have been in deplorable Zambian prisons since their arrest in December of 2014.
In November 2019, while celebrating his 63rd birthday, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia announced publicly that he had pardoned Afumba Mombotwa, among four others, only for his Home Affairs minister to expunge him from the list of those pardoned some hours later, a situation that some human rights campaigners said amounted to the torture of a prisoner, which is a crime against humanity under international laws.
The Barotseland Agreement 1964, instigated by the imperial government of Great Britain, would allow for joint political sovereignty of the two separate British protectorates of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia, which had shared political and geographical proximity, on the condition that the Kingdom of Barotseland retains its autonomous government within the Republic of Zambia.
However, upon attaining political and state power in 1964, the first Zambian government immediately began to unilaterally repudiate the pre-independence agreement so much that by 1969, the agreement had completely been annulled and abrogated, the state of affairs successive Zambian governments have perpetuated until 2012 when the people of Barotseland unanimously decided that they could no longer be ruled under Zambia when Zambia had annulled the only instrument which brought the Kingdom under the state of Zambia.
It was in their peaceful pursuit for Barotseland self-determination under the Linyungandambo independence movement which saw Afumba Mombotwa and two others imprisoned to 15 years for treason felony since December 2014.
Last August, however, one of the three political prisoners, Likando Pelekelo, died after a short illness, the cause of which is still unclear to this day, heightening calls for the Zambian government to release the surviving Barotseland campaigners out of jail.
Some international organizations, national human rights campaigners and clergy have continually appealed for the government to release the Barotseland prisoners to allow for negotiated political discourse over the longstanding Barotseland Agreement 1964 matters.
It would appear, however, that the Zambian state and its President has remained adamant on keeping them in Zambian state maximum prisons where they continue to suffer untold misery like common criminals.