On Sunday, December 11, the body of Lemekani Nyirenda, a student from Zambia who was studying nuclear engineering in Russia, will be returned to Lusaka.
In September, Lemekani passed away on the front lines of the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Lemekani is thought to have received a 9-year term after being found guilty of breaking Russian law in April of 2020.
He was then given permission to be pardoned through the Russian amnesty on the grounds that he had taken part in the conflict in which he was slain on the side of Ukraine.
Lemekani’s death was reported to Russian authorities, according to Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Minister Stanley Kakubo.
“We were told that on August 23rd, he was conditionally pardoned and was allowed to participate in a special military operation for such he was killed in September. We then demanded that officials details are given not his recruitment, A DNA test be done on the body to ascertain identity, details of repatriation, details on compensation for the family,” he said.
According to him, a report was given on December 5 this year, it was informed that the remains will arrive in Lusaka on December 11, DNA testing had been done and samples had been obtained for cross-referencing, and the gratuity owed to him would be given to his family.
Mr. Kakubo also reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to preventing similar incidents from occurring to future students and ensuring that there are no other Zambian students detained in the Russian prison.