Political Prisoner Afumba Mombotwa’s wife feared dead amidst news of serial murders around Mukobeko prison

28 May 2021
Author 
Mr and Mrs Mombotwa

 

Barotseland campaigner’s wife, Emetrude Situmbeko Mwanangombe, has not been seen and her whereabouts are still unknown since her last trip to Mukobeko State Prison to visit her husband in early April of 2021 where Afumba Mombotwa (61) continues to serve a 15-year maximum sentence for his peaceful campaign for Barotseland’s self-determination which the Zambian state has deemed treasonous.

The news of her disappearance has come in the wake of Zambian media reports of serial murders around the penitentiary stating that two escaped inmates pretending to be prison officials had been luring particularly female relatives of some serving prisoners to the correctional facility only to rape them, murder them and bury them in shallow graves in the vicinity of the prison grounds.

Zambian media reports have stated that all these murders have taken place in the last two or three months coinciding with the disappearance of Mrs Mombotwa making some Barotse nationals fear she too may have fallen victim to the horrendous serial killers.

And the Police in Kabwe has revealed that notorious prison escapee Joseph Chiteta and his accomplice, Miles Malaya (another inmate), have murdered at least 9 people in Kitwe and Kabwe in what may be the worst spate of serial murders in recent times.

Reportedly, three out of the 9 bodies buried in shallow graves by Chiteta and his accomplice around the Mukobeko prison farms have since been exhumed.

This revelation came barely three days after Chiteta led police to Chichele forest in Ndola where he murdered and tied an 18-year-old girl to a pine tree.

Police re-arrested Chiteta on Sunday 23rd May 2021 in the Fisenge area.

Further information that has emerged is that Chiteta, 53, and Miles Malaya, currently serving jail sentences at Mukobeko maximum correctional facility and medium correctional facility respectively for various offences, are behind the murder of at least nine female victims in Kabwe.

Central Province Commissioner of Police Chola Katanga said the victims were all raped before being killed and buried in shallow graves.

Mr Katanga said Joseph Chiteka, who escaped lawful custody on April 7, 2021, was apprehended on the Copperbelt after committing a string of other criminal offences there, and that he has since been moved to Kabwe Central Police where he joins his accomplice, Malaya, who was fished out from Mukobeko Medium Correctional Facility to help with investigations.

He disclosed that preliminary investigations reveal that the victims who are believed to have relatives serving jail sentences at the said Correctional facilities were asked by Chiteta and Miles to come through to Kabwe’s Mukobeko maximum and medium correctional facilities all in a bid to negotiate for their relatives’ possible release on Parole.

Mr Katanga said Police have opened another inquiry into how Chiteta and Miles were able to have contacts for the victims while in Prisons despite the victims coming from Copperbelt, Lusaka, and Western (Barotseland) provinces.

He said despite the bodies of the victims being in a decomposed state and unrecognizable, he was hopeful that all the bodies will be exhumed as the suspects were cooperative in leading the Police to the different graves dotted around the prison farms.

Mr Katanga said all the murders happened between February and April 2021 in Kabwe’s Mukobeko area.

International and national appeals to the Zambian president to release Afumba Mombotwa and his fellow political prisoner Kalima have largely gone ignored by the Zambian president, who at one time even publicly announced Afumba Mombotwa's pardon only to reverse it many hours later in unclear circumstances - a situation that some human rights campaigners said amounted to the psychological torture of a prisoner contrary to the UN charters on the treatment of prisoners.

President Lungu made Afumba’s mock pardon while amusing himself on his 63rd birthday in 2019.

Last year, Barotseland campaigner, Likando Pelekelo, who was serving the same sentence as Afumba Mombotwa and Inambao Kalima, suddenly died in prison after a short illness due to suspected ill care.

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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.