Namibia: Treason Convict Mwilima Loses Release Bid

A former parliamentarian who was convicted of high treason and other charges, and is currently serving an 18-year prison term, lost his bid to be released on medical grounds after the High Court dismissed his application yesterday.

Judge Kobus Miller dismissed 65-year-old Geoffrey Mwilima's application, deemed the matter finalised and removed it from the roll, as there were no facts supporting the orders sought.

"The medical practitioners who at various stages diagnosed and prescribed treatment for his condition were not always in agreement, especially on the issue of whether or not the applicant is eligible to be released on parole due to his medical condition," said Miller.

The court further ruled that the correctional medical officer informed Mwilima, a former National Assembly member, that his condition did not meet the criteria for him to be released on parole on medical grounds.

Mwilima, who has been in jail for more than 21 years after his arrest in August 1999, dragged the commissioner general of the Namibian Correctional Service, the minister of safety and security, the medical officer of the Windhoek Correctional Facility and the officer-in-command

of the prison to court in an attempt to compel them to consider releasing him on grounds of ill-health.

In his affidavit, Mwilima informed the court that he is suffering from kidney failure, which necessitates dialysis treatment twice a week, diabetes and high blood pressure.

He was convicted and sentenced in December 2015 of high treason, nine counts of murder and 90 charges of attempted murder over his involvement in a separatist movement that aimed to secede the Zambezi region (then Caprivi) from Namibia. He started serving his 18-year prison term thereafter.

Mwilima was found to have been part of the armed secessionist organisation in the former Caprivi region which conspired to overthrow the Namibian government in that region between the period of September 1998 and December 2003.

The group were said to have imported into Namibia armaments comprising cannons, machine guns, magazines and other military weapons for their planned forceful succession of the Caprivi Strip at the time.

Profysen Muluti was representing Mwilima, with Alice Makemba representing the state.

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