24 November 2012

Zambia: Rwanda Wants Six Genocide Suspects Extradited

Photo: http://www.irinnews.org
Skulls of genocide victims lying at the Murambi Genocide Memorial site (file photo).

PARLIAMENT yesterday heard that Rwanda has written to the Zambian Government requesting for extradition of six of their nationals to answer charges relating to the 1994 genocide.

The House also heard that there were 6,340 Rwandese resident in Zambia.

Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Effron Lungu, however, said the Extradition Act, Chapter 94 of the Laws of Zambia could only allow extradition of fugitives if there was an agreement on reciprocal basis.

Dr Lungu said the Government could not hand over the six fugitives to the Rwandese government without an agreement.

He was responding to MMD Chipangali Member of Parliament (MP) Vincent Mwale on how many Rwandese were resident in Zambia as of August, this year.

Mr Mwale also wanted to know how many were wanted in their country as suspects of the 1994 genocide.

In response, Dr Lungu said the Government was ready to hand over the suspects if the request was made through the International Tribunal under the United Nations.

"Mr Speaker, the said fugitives can only be handed over when the two countries negotiate and sign an agreement on reciprocal basis to deal with the extradition in accordance with the Extradition Act Chapter 94 of the Laws of Zambia," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Lungu told the House that his ministry, through the Zambian embassy in Germany, held consultations with the Czech government to establish the cause of death of a Zambian student that country identified as Sikwebele Malitela.

He said the preliminary response was that there was no evidence of foul play because no injuries or bruises were found on the body.

Police assumed that the cause of death was suicide and that Mr Malitela died by drowning.

Dr Lungu was responding to MMD Sinda MP Levy Ngoma who wanted to know the circumstances that led to the death of Mr Malitela, whose body was found floating in a river in the Czech Republic on November 6, this year.

"This assumption, according to the Czech police, was strengthened by the fact that his body was found with a bag around his neck with some stones weighing just over 3Kg," Dr Lungu said.

He said the ministry had since instructed the Zambia embassy in Germany to insist for an authenticated police report from the Czech Republic, which had given an assurance that investigations would continue.

Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda said the Government would not take responsibility because the deceased went through a self-acquired scholarship and was earmarked for deportation to Zambia.

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