Caprivi Political Prisoner Pleads For Release
A former Member of Parliament, Hon. Geoffrey Mwilima (62) pleaded for release from prison on medical grounds before a team commissioned by the Judiciary Commission of Namibia to inspect Windhoek Correctional facility or Prison.
According to him, in a report broadcasted on the 20th of March 2017 on Namibia’s NBC-1 television channel, he suffers from diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy and renal failure, and he has undergone six medical operations. He has been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) several times particularly due to kidney failure. Currently he goes for kidney dialysis twice a week, and he is supposed to go for kidney transplant, which cannot be done in prison. He says he spends a lot of money on medications and his prescribed diet, without help from Prison Authorities or Government.
Considering his deteriorating health and age, he seeks the invocation of Article 109(a) and or (b) of the Correctional Service Act, 2012, which provides that the Minister responsible for Correctional service “may, on recommendation of a medical officer and after consultation with the Commissioner-General, authorise release from correctional facility of an offender serving any sentence in a correctional facility, and (a) who is suffering from a dangerous, infectious or contagious disease; or (b) whose continued incarceration is dentrimental to his or her health on the grounds of his or her physical condition”.
Hon. Mwilima explained his health, medical, nutritional and psychological needs and challenges to the commission which included the Deputy Minister of Safety and Security (responsible for Correctional service); and was led by, Supreme Court Judge Sylvester Mainga. He also indicated to the team that he has sent communications attaching medical report or recommendations to relevant authorities through his lawyers in trying to secure compassionate release for the sake of his health but all in vain as there have never been a response since last year.
Article 18 of the Namibian Constitution provides for Administrative Justice, and states that administrative bodies and administrative officials shall act fairly and reasonably and comply with the requirements imposed upon such bodies and officials by common law and any relevant legislation. The same article further provides that persons aggrieved in this regard, where an administrative body or official fails to “act fairly and reasonably” and or fail to “comply” with relevant legislation, shall have the right to seek redress before a competent Court.
Hon. Mwilima was severely tortured upon his arrest in August 1999 that he suffered a broken jaw and deep cuts on his back resulting from the BEATING or whipping by Security Officials or Agents, [See attached photo]. He remained in prison for 16 years before he was convicted and sentenced to 18 years jail term in December 2015 for high treason and related charges, which he is currently serving.
Article 8 of same Constitution provides for Respect for Human Dignity. It states that the dignity of all persons shall be inviolable, and further state that in any judicial proceedings or in other proceedings before any organ of the State, and during the enforcement of a penalty, respect for human dignity shall be guaranteed. No persons shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
While Hon. Mwilima may not support aims, objectives and activities of Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG), without any reservation, CCG fully supports his plea for release on medical grounds. It is a natural and genuine request, CCG therefore prays for understanding on the part of the responsible Minister and Commissioner-General, Hon. Charles Namoloh and Tuhafeni Hamunyela respectively.
Caprivi Concerned Group