Lemekani Nyirenda: Zambian pupil who died fighting for Russia in Ukraine laid to rest


The Zambian student who died in fight in Ukraine was buried Wednesday in a non-public ceremony in his residence state, a relatives spokesman advised CNN.

Lemekani Nathan Nyirenda died on the frontlines of the Ukraine war whilst fighting for Russian mercenary group Wagner in September final calendar year.

His family members consultant Dr. Ian Banda spoke to CNN Wednesday morning as the loved ones headed to Nyirenda’s last resting position in his village.

“We are going to bury him now…. We are in a convoy… His (Nyirenda’s) mother and father are in a automobile at the rear of me. They are crying correct now,” Banda advised CNN.

Nyirenda’s human body was returned to Zambia final month. On arrival on December 11, his remains ended up transported to Zambia’s College Educating Clinic Mortuary for put up-mortem checks in compliance with Zambian laws.

“The funeral collecting at the Nyirenda family home, burial and memorial provider formalities shall only commence upon completion of the aforementioned obligatory statutory techniques,” a family assertion explained at the time.

Banda explained to CNN forensic investigation carried out on Nyirenda’s body experienced been “confirmed,” devoid of releasing more specifics.

Nyirenda is not the first African scholar killed in the Ukrainian battlefront fighting for Russia in a progress that has sparked fury across the continent.

A Tanzanian nationwide, identified as Nemes Tarimo by his country’s overseas ministry, was killed last Oct very last when fighting with Wagner in exchange for revenue and amnesty, the ministry said in a assertion on Tuesday.

Tarimo was a master’s university student at the Moscow Technological University, learning Company Informatics just before being despatched to jail for seven several years for undisclosed prison expenses in March final yr, the ministry stated, including that his physique experienced been dispatched from Russia and was predicted to arrive in Tanzania quickly for burial.

Nyirenda, 23, was sponsored by the Zambian govt to review nuclear engineering at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute but was convicted in 2020 of unspecified crimes in Russia and imprisoned for nine yrs and six months, Zambia’s international ministry reported in a statement asserting his demise in November.

In a comply with-up statement final month, the ministry defined Nyirenda was pardoned by the Russian governing administration in August “to sign up for a military operation in trade for amnesty” and “was killed in September 2022 when participating in armed service things to do.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group admitted to recruiting Nyirenda from a Russian jail, declaring he chose to struggle to “repay (Africa’s) debts” to Russia and “died a hero.”

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