The Zambian pupil who died in battle in Ukraine was buried Wednesday in a non-public ceremony in his residence nation, a household spokesman advised CNN.
Lemekani Nathan Nyirenda died on the frontlines of the Ukraine struggle whereas preventing for Russian mercenary group Wagner in September final yr.
His household consultant Dr. Ian Banda spoke to CNN Wednesday morning because the household headed to Nyirenda’s ultimate resting place in his village.
“We’re going to bury him now…. We’re in a convoy… His (Nyirenda’s) mom and father are in a automobile behind me. They’re crying proper now,” Banda advised CNN.
Nyirenda’s physique was returned to Zambia final month. On arrival on December 11, his stays have been transported to Zambia’s College Educating Hospital Mortuary for autopsy checks in compliance with Zambian legal guidelines.
“The funeral gathering on the Nyirenda household residence, burial and memorial service formalities shall solely start upon completion of the aforementioned necessary statutory procedures,” a household assertion mentioned on the time.
Banda advised CNN forensic investigation carried out on Nyirenda’s physique had been “confirmed,” with out releasing additional particulars.
Nyirenda isn’t the primary African pupil killed within the Ukrainian battlefront preventing for Russia in a improvement that has sparked fury throughout the continent.
A Tanzanian nationwide, recognized as Nemes Tarimo by his nation’s overseas ministry, was killed final October final whereas preventing with Wagner in change for cash and amnesty, the ministry mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday.
Tarimo was a grasp’s pupil on the Moscow Technological College, finding out Enterprise Informatics earlier than being despatched to jail for seven years for undisclosed legal costs in March final yr, the ministry acknowledged, including that his physique had been dispatched from Russia and was anticipated to reach in Tanzania quickly for burial.
Nyirenda, 23, was sponsored by the Zambian authorities to review nuclear engineering on the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute however was convicted in 2020 of unspecified crimes in Russia and imprisoned for 9 years and 6 months, Zambia’s overseas ministry mentioned in an announcement asserting his dying in November.
In a follow-up assertion final month, the ministry defined Nyirenda was pardoned by the Russian authorities in August “to hitch a navy operation in change for amnesty” and “was killed in September 2022 whereas collaborating in navy actions.”
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group admitted to recruiting Nyirenda from a Russian jail, saying he selected to combat to “repay (Africa’s) money owed” to Russia and “died a hero.”