Zambia has no political prisoners – Simbyakula

Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Ngosa Simbyakula
Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Ngosa Simbyakula(r)

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.


  1. They are political Prisoners. Secession is a political issue. In Uk, Canada, USA, South Africa, Belgium etc there are individuals ,groups or political parties advocating for secession from their countries. These people have the Right to do so and they are never arrested. In PF’s Zambia you’ve arrested them and turned them into political prisoners. And I thought this Simbyakula guy was a Lawyer

    • Chilufyanya the minister has put it clear there for you, it is difficult to understand simple terms? He says the BA issue was the only one recorded as political prisoners who were arrested during the MMD regime, but later they were released by president Sata. So were don’t you understand? Your name speaks volumes

    • @Jackal, Lozis have been arrested over the same issue by the PF govt. Libongani the Inspector General, and Siadenge the Western Province Commissioner have both admitted that they have detained secessionists. These political prisoners are been held in Mumbwa. The same prison where the MMD sent its Lozi political prisoners!

    • The Jackal, the Barotse activists have long been re-arrested by Sata. So there you have it. There are political prisoners in Zambia as admitted by the Minister.

    • Chilufyanya walufyanya man.The people arrested in Mongu were arrested for public vilolence and not political reasons.You should know that going in the streets and displaying rioters behaviour is an offence no matter for what reasons.When the Lozis gathered and resolved to seceed they did not riot and nobody was arrested.Sinyinda was very vocal about the secession but he finally resigned after realising that the majority of Lozis are not for the idea of secession and also realised that the Litunga does not support secession.

  2. LT please proof read your articles and make sure you are using the write words in the article. It is quite embarrassing for you journalists to fail to write correct English in this era. Carrier and Career are quite very different words with totally different meanings.

  3. Yet. Ngosa Simbyakula should have added ‘yet’. Nevers and HH have been charged with politically-motivated cases and they may soon be jailed for that. As for the Barotse activists, Ngosa should have added that after being released by Sata, they were (and are still being) re-arrested by the self-same Sata. One can argue that these are political prisoners more so that their human rights are being trampled upon by being held without charge. Ngosa has seriously lied in Parliament and should be taken to task for that.

  4. In my fictional political action thriller…we have to wait for the photo op a certain selfless lawyer is banking on. Marching with the champion of our democracy up front showing his good camera side and lots of darkly jubilant faces around him. Chuckle. Fancy being paraded around the globe not as demonstrating your cause but as a CV of what superman can do for united opposition? Oh dear. Coffee time. Apologies. My guess is Barotse detentions vs. govt. of day does not suit the narrative of any of the governments. Zamnesia.

    My serious response is all politicians need to show us what positive change they can make in this parliament they fought to get in to. I still am clueless what actually goes on there. Apologies for my humour. It’s a habit I need to kick. Like coffee.

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