MIRCO works towards amending wrongful arrest of Junias Shomwele

WINDHOEK: Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO), Peya Mushulenga, stated on Thursday that his ministry, along with the Ministry of Justice, is actively working to rectify the injustice meted out against Junias Shomwele.

He said this in Parliament in response to questions posed by Popular Democratic Movement Member of Parliament, Maximillient Katjimune, concerning the compensation of Shomwele, a Namibian citizen who was wrongfully taken into custody in Zambia on the allegation that he threw a stone on the road, causing former Sioma district commissioner, Mutomena Mubiana’s vehicle to experience a burst tyre in 2014. He was detained from 2014 to 2017 and since his release in 2017, he has made several requests from the government to aid in his search for restitution.

‘The ministry has taken considerable steps over the years to facilitate and engage the relevant authorities in line with its mandate as far as the case of Mr. Shomwele is concerned,’ stated Mushulenga.

He further noted that
legal aid was provided by the Ministry of Justice to Shomwele in 2018 for the execution of the judgement and that they are still awaiting a response for their request for mutual legal assistance.

‘A request for Mutual Legal Assistance was also received from the Ministry of Justice on 24 July 2023 to assist in the matter of Shomwele receiving compensation from the Zambian government for his time spent in prison, which we transmitted via diplomatic channels to the Zambian authorities. The request has been received by the Central Authority of Zambia. This was confirmed by the Zambian High Commission in a meeting convened on 27 October 2023,’ said Mushulenga.

Furthermore, he stated that MIRCO is still waiting on a response in this matter, adding, ‘once received we will transmit the same to the Ministry of Justice which is the right custodian to deal with the matter.’

Mushulenga said that MIRCO continues to carry out its mandate by transmitting requests for mutual legal assistance through diplomatic channels as
guided by Article 96 of the Namibian Constitution.

Source: Namibia Press Agency