Zambian President marks birthday by pardoning separatist leader

Zambian President Edgar Lungu delivers a speech during a press briefing on November 8, 2019 at the Zambian State House in Lusaka, Zambia. (Photo by DAWOOD SALIM / AFP)

Zambian President Edgar Lungu marked his 63rd birthday by pardoning a separatist leader who had been given a 10 year jail term in 2016.

Afumba Mombotwa had called for the creation of a new state in the west of the country called Barotseland the Kingdom of the Lozi people.

It was once a protectorate of Britain but became part of Zambia at independence in 1964.

Barotseland was supposed to have a degree of self-rule but the Lozi say this was never respected.

In addition to freeing the separatist leader, President Lungu has also pardoned journalist Derrick Sinjela.

Mr Sinjela was last year jailed after accusing the judiciary of taking bribes from a commercial bank.


Dominica Nwabufo