Zambia pardons 579 inmates as Africa celebrates Liberation Day
London, May 25, 2021 (AltAfrica)-May 25 is African Liberation/Freedom Day. On this day, many African countries celebrate the hard-fought achievement of their freedom from forceful occupation and colonialism
Africa Liberation Day is also to commemorate the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union, AU on May 25 1963.
The day, being held today, May 25, 2021 under the theme “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building Africa we Want”, is not only celebrated on the continent, but around the world as the continent and its Diaspora reflects on its triumphs against imperialism, colonialism and slavery.
The day is observed in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and the United States
In Zambia, President Edgar Lungu has pardoned 579 inmates as part of commemoration to mark this year’s Africa Liberation/Freedom Day, a senior government official said on Monday.
Among those pardoned were 548 males and 31 females. Masiye Banda, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, said the action was a true reflection of the government’s aspirations in the observance of human rights, treatment and rehabilitation of offenders.
In Zimbabwe, the highlight of the celebrations will be the unveiling of the statue of Mbuya Nehanda, the celebrated early struggle icon who not only resisted the incursion by the British into Zimbabwe during the First Chimurenga but also inspired later generations to take up arms and dislodge the colonial yoke during the Second Chimurenga.
Zanu PF secretary for External Affairs Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the African continent should flex its muscle and end the continued colonisation of an African nation by a fellow African country
Currently, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic is the only African country which is still under foreign occupation.
Speaking ahead of the 58th African Union commemorations, Cde Mumbengegwi said there is need to put maximum effort towards total independence on the continent.
“As we celebrate Africa Day, we celebrate the liberation of the continent and the commitment that Africa’s independence would not be complete, unless and until all the African countries were free from colonial rule.
African Freedom Day was founded during the first Conference of Independent African States, which attracted African leaders and political activists from various African countries, in Ghana on April 15, 1958. Government representatives from eight independent African states attended the conference, which was the first Pan-African conference in the continent. The purpose of the day was to annually mark the liberation movement’s progress and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.
Between 1958 and 1963 the nation/class struggle grew bigger in Africa and around the world. During this period, 17 countries in Africa won their independence and 1960 was proclaimed the Year of Africa. On May 25, 1963, 31 African leaders convened a summit meeting to found the Organization of African Unity (OAU). They renamed Africa Freedom Day as “African Liberation Day” and changed its date to May 25. The founding date of the OAU is also referred to as “Africa Day”.
African Liberation Day has helped to raise political awareness in African communities across the world. It has also been a source of information about the struggles for liberation and development.