Stanley Kakubo, Foreign Minister said Russia told him Lemekhani Nyirenda was in Ukraine to receive amnesty.
According to South Africa’s foreign minister, Russia had pardoned a Zambian student captured so that he could fight in Ukraine. He was killed on the frontlines.
Stanley Kakubo, the Foreign Minister, stated that Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, had told him by phone that Lemekhani Nyirenda was pardoned to take part in the military operation of August 23 in return for an amnesty.
Russia had previously said that Nyirenda, aged 23, was killed in the battle for Ukraine in September. Zambia then sought to find out how he got involved in the war.
Kakubo stated that Russia allows prisoners to be pardoned in return for taking part in the special military operations.
According to Zambian authorities Nyirenda was visiting Russia to study nuclear engineering at Moscow Engineering Physics Institute.
He He was sentenced to a nine-year and six-month sentence in prison in April 2020 for drug offense. He was serving his sentence at Moscow when he was “conscripted,” his father stated.
Minister Kakubo stated that Nyirenda’s remains arrived in Moscow on Friday, and were expected to arrive in Zambia on Sunday.
Russia also informed Zambia of Nyirenda’s pending money. The minister said that Nyirenda’s documentation, including all documentation relating to his amnesty and recruitment, would be given to a representative from Zambia who will accompany the body.
Yevgeny Prgozhin, the head Russia’s Wagner mercenary company, was seen admitting to Nyirenda’s recruitment from prison. He also claimed that Nyirenda had voluntarily accepted to fight Ukraine.
Prigozhin stated that Nyirenda was a “hero” who died on September 22nd.
Kakubo claimed that Nyirenda was unaware that the student was being recruited before her death.
The Wagner group has launched major recruitment drives in Russian prisons to recruit more fighters to Ukraine to help the faltering Russian invasion that began February 24th.