Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Eating roasted fish, dancing to traditional drum beats and knitting were some of the activities I enjoyed


Former Patriotic Front (PF) Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri says eating roasted fish, dancing to traditional drum beats and knitting were some of the activities she enjoyed when incarcerated in prison for a year over a murder charge.

Ms. Phiri was released from prison last Wednesday after the State entered a nolle prosequi in a case where she stood charged with one count of murder.

The nolle prosequi was entered by Senior State Advocate Kayoka Sifali, on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which subsequently means that proceedings against Phiri have been discontinued.

Speaking to veteran journalist Amos Malupenga in a video interview in Lusaka, Ms. Mumba recounted how she spent time in the Mongu State Prison.

The former Munali Member of Parliament said she spent a lot of time dancing to music from the drums beaten in the Luvale, Lunda and Lozi traditional ways, among others.

Ms. Phiri said she has now turned out to be a bigger and better alangizi (marriage counselor).

She started the conversation by expressing her relief on re-uniting with the family after over one year in prison.

“Thank you for welcoming me back. At least I feel so happy to be back home to see my family. The way it was at prison, when we woke up in the morning at 07:00 they could open for us. We are on parade you count yourself we were saying one bwana, two bwana. We were 39 in a very small cell with 10 children who are called circumstantial children. You know at prison when you are a remandee you are not allowed to do any work; you don’t even cook for yourself that is what happens. So you have to find convicts to do that for you. When I was in Kaoma, we were not allowed to knit because I enjoy knitting but when I went to Mongu they were allowed to do skills. At least they allowed knitting so I was knitting. I could make bed spreads; I have come with one, when you come for my son’s wedding I will show you. I made a very nice bed spread for my son. I made a mat for the President (Edgar Lungu). Actually I was making mats and selling them at K800. So whoever visited me would come back with five mats,” Ms. Phiri narrated.

“You know in prison you are just taken there, they are not the people who arrest you. So they look after you well. You know I had put on so much weight. I reached 87 (KG). They used to call me njomba ya pa jale, Mai Sichaba kaofela. When I got sick my weight was too much and when I was admitted to the hospital if you visited the prison it was quiet. When I came back we could hear that section of the men shouting Mai Sichaba is back. I became very famous and you know those small children in prison (circumstantial) they could sing. Ni ba Mumbi chabe mwakomboni.. I knew any word in Lozi apart from greeting. I learnt the Lozi,” she continued.

Ms Phiri has since announced her intention to contest the Patriotic Front (PF) party presidency despite the closure of nominations.

She added that the PF was intact in Western Province.

“One thing which I was happy about is the party in Western Province. It is very intact. I could get visitors from as far as Lukulu, Sesheke and everywhere. That is why now I strongly feel God reserved for the PF convention so that I can throw my candidature in it,” Ms. Phiri said.

Ms. Phiri was jointly charged with former President Edgar Lungu’s barber Shebby Chilekwa, whom the Mongu High Court has sentenced to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour for murder.

This is after finding him guilty of one count of murder of a United Party for National Development (UPND) member Lawrence Banda.


    • Mumbi Phiri has so far talked about how kind the people of Western province have been to her and how visitors to her included people from as far as Lukulu. Yet we hear all sorts of things about how people from Western province are unfriendly and how much they hate those from Northern, Muchinga and Luapula provinces. This has been an eye-opening prison experience for Mumbi.

    • Who is “We”? Iam Bwalya and I ve been fishing with my Lozi brothers here in Lukulu Kalabo up to Shangombo from the 90s and my father died here

  1. When moving forward, it does not help to dwell in the gloomy past. To date you have not talked about your 409 days imprisonment, trial and subsequent “aquital” in a defeatist manner. If you ever get negative, it would only show how broken spirited you are. A stoic, self disciplined woman this one is!

  2. Look at the state of this useless woman…if she put her head down instead of running her mouth and kissing up to Lazy Lungu she would be someone looks at then now. In the end you will be left alone…

  3. Well if you enjoy such why not go back to the village
    Instead of trying to lead a high life with ambitions beyond you

  4. We hope you atone for your violent behaviour in PF and for sending to jail many in UPND on fake charges………..

    You reap what you sow……….

  5. As a Kitwe United fan I cant understand how someone can be thinking of toothless Kalampa in a prison cell!

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