Political Prisoner Afumba Mombotwa Reportedly sick in Zambian Penitentiary

10 March 2021
Afumba Mombotwa


Afumba Mombotwa, the sworn Barotseland Administrator General imprisoned for his peaceful campaign for Barotseland self-determination, is reportedly very sick in Zambia’s state maximum prison where he continues to serve a controversial 15 years treason sentence.

Independent Mukobeko Maximum Prison sources have indicated that Mr Mombotwa was hospitalized at the state prison's infirmary three days ago due to some unspecified illness, as the Zambian state reportedly tries hard to conceal his hospitalization from his family and the public.

Afumba’s hospitalization comes barely six months after his co-imprisoned Barotseland campaigner, Likando Pelekelo, died in the same state penitentiary in unclear circumstances last year.

The Zambian government has been accused of repeatedly refusing to yield to national and international appeals to release the peaceful Barotseland campaigners in its prisons.

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.

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  • walusiku sifuniso walusiku sifuniso Wednesday, 10 March 2021

    I think Zambian government ,has failed to understand the truth about peace, its time for barotseland to act,

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.