Back to top
23 June 2021

Front Line Defenders saddened by the passing of Bornwell Mwewa

Front Line Defenders has learned with great sadness about the death of Bornwell Mwewa, who passed away in the early hours of 23 June 2021. Bornwell was fondly known to many colleagues at Front Line Defenders as a courageous and leading human rights defender (HRD) in Zambia. He worked with Front Line Defenders over a number of years through the Alliance for Community Action, where he was a Programme Manager. Bornwell consistently and bravely stood up against corruption and human rights abuse in Zambia, and made efforts to support and empower other HRDs.

In 2020, he drove from Lusaka to Livingstone to negotiate a fellow human rights defender's release from detention, for which he was subsequenetly detained and charged; the charges were later dropped following a large outcry from Zambian colleagues. In the last two years, he attended training workshops with Front Line Defenders. Most recently, in the context of forthcoming national elections in Zambia, Bornwell was a trainer and organiser for a risk analysis and protection planning workshop for HRDs. Shortly after this training, Bornwell fell sick and was taken to a hospital for medical care, on Friday 18 June 2021. Sadly, he passed on a few days after being transferred to the Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.

Front Line Defenders and its staff send condolences go to the family, friends, and colleagues of Bornwell. He was loved and respected in the HRD community in Zambia and beyond. His spirit and courage will be remembered for many years to come.