Government says there are currently no political prisoners held custody in any prison in the country.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Ngosa Simbyakula told parliament yesterday that government has no record of any persons being held as political prisoners in any prison in the country.
Dr Simbyakula stated that the only persons who had been in police custody as political prisoners were Barotse activists who had been arrested for advocating the Barotse secession during the Movement for Multi Party Democracy(MMD) regime but had being released by Republican President, Michael Sata, using his Presidential Prerogatives.
He explained that the only prisoners in prisons countrywide were there for committing crimes like rape, murder, defilement, and others.
Dr Simbyakula explained that the prisoners could include politicians, but added that they were not in custody for expressing their political opinions but rather for various crimes they committed.He stated that prisoners could be pastors, politicians, teachers, or any other carrier, adding that the law applies to everyone irrespective of their carrier.
He was responding to a question by Sikongo Member of Parliament, Ndalamei Mundia, who wanted to know whether there were any citizens currently imprisoned on account of being involved in politics, and if so, what the total number of such prisoners was as of 30th September, 2012.