The Zambian government has released a soldier who plotted a failed coup d’etat to topple former president Fredrick Chiluba in 1997.
Sick Captain Stephen Lungu, known as captain Solo has been released on humanitarian grounds.
Captain Solo was sentenced to death by hanging but his sentence was reduced to life in prison during the reign of Levy Mwanawasa.
Home Affairs Minister Mkhondo Lungu’s said in a statement that Solo has been freed in accordance with the prisons Amendment Act of 2004 Section 31 111(A) which allows parole in Zambia.
In 2002, captain Solo and 55 other convicted soldiers appealed to the Supreme court against their death sentence.
Solo apologized to Zambians but insisted that his actions to plot the coup were justified.
Capt Solo told the court that the coup was dreamed up by himself and Captain Jack Chiti (late)
He said all the other soldiers knew nothing of the “top secret” plan and were merely following his orders.
“My concern was for the blind, the disabled, the dumb, the needy and the poor who I saw going to destruction by the hand of a wicked and insensitive president,” he told the court.
“As a soldier it was my duty to protect my fellow citizens from the autocratic and cruel government of Chiluba.”