The Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) says arrested Congolese singer Mumba Yachi is a fully paid up member and as such, the association will render free legal services to him.

In a statement today, ZAM president Njoya Tembo said he had been to the Lusaka remand prison to visit the talented vocalist, and that he was in high spirit.

“The Association will stand with him in this hour of need. In a show of support, we visited Mumba at the Lusaka Central Correctional facility yesterday Saturday and wish to report that Mumba is well and coping with the situation so far. ZAM will accordingly help Mumba with legal support throughout this process. The Association’s lawyers will be with Mumba throughout to ensure his rights are not infringed,” Tembo said.

He regretted that Yachi had been singled out from the many immigrants who were entering Zambia illegally.

“It is very evident that Mumba Yachi is but a victim of the colonial divides which separated tribes, communities and families to suit the wanton interests of colonialist forces which drew artificial boundaries across communities for their selfish interests,” he said.

“Mumba’s predicament may not be strange to those of us who hail from border areas like Luangwa. Interestingly only last week while visiting in Luangwa (my home area), I watched a football match between my tribesmen and a team from Mozambique at Manueli village. I noticed that the Mozambican team and supporters merely paddled across the river into Zambia for the match and back with no documentation of any kind.”

He said in such areas, intermarriages were taking place without the law infringing on people’s rights.

“In certain cases, schools and medical facilities are accessed from across the border lines on both sides. In Mumba’s case, it cannot be denied that he has attended under five clinic in this country having grown-up in Mukambo. Further, Mumba has distinctively represented Zambia excellently in all his tours and assignments around the world and helped to put the country on the world map,” said Tembo.

“While recognising the importance of the Immigration Department to carry out its mandate, we note at the same time that the Immigration Department has a duty to promote a human rights based approach and culture in respect of immigration controls. In that regard, Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) urges that a human face be attached to such operations in consideration to tribes, communities and families which were brutally divided by the greed of the colonial powers without any due regard to the status of people on the ground.”