PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has pardoned journalist Derrick Sinjela, former Zambia Air Force commander Lieutenant General Christopher Singogo and three others to mark his 63rd birthday which fell yesterday.
The pardoned are from five various correctional facilities.
According to his press aide Isaac Chipampe, also released were chief Mulongwe, former mines minister in the MMD government Maxwell Mwale, and Afumba Mombofwa.
Chipampe said the President’s action was in line with Article 97 of the Constitution of Zambia Chapter (l) of the Laws of Zambia which provides for Presidential Pardon and Substitution of Severe Punishments imposed on the convicted.
Meanwhile, defence chiefs yesterday presented birthday gifts to President Lungu.
The defence chiefs presented various gifts to the Commander-in-Chief at State House at a short ceremony which was attended by personnel from the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, Zambia National Service, Zambia Correctional Services and Immigration Department, members of staff at State House and senior government officials.
Chipampe said immediately the President walked into the Credentials Room at State House, he was welcomed to a heart-warming rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ sang by the defence forces and State House staff.
The ceremony was also punctuated by the traditional cutting of the birthday cake.
In response to the gesture, President Lungu said he was humbled by the love that the defence forces had shown him, and jokingly said: “I am 36,” a reversal of his 63 years.
He called for teamwork in the defence forces and all fields across the country’s sectors, if national development was to be achieved.
President Lungu said his success depended on teamwork across the country’s sectors.
He thanked God for sustaining him.
Earlier, Zambia Army Commander Lieutenant General William Sikazwe congratulated the President on his birthday and prayed that God Almighty would continue to give him wisdom as he leads the nation.
Lt Gen Sikazwe said it was gratifying that the President’s birthday was falling on the day that the First World War came to an end, signifying peace.
“When we are jogging, you are always ahead of us, yet you are 63,” said Lt Gen Sikazwe.