Death penalty clause raises heated debate in Livingstone

Delegates at Southern Province Constitution Convention in Livingstone
Delegates at Southern Province Constitution Convention in Livingstone
Delegates at Southern Province Constitution Convention in Livingstone
Delegates at Southern Province Constitution Convention in Livingstone

There was a heated debate over Article 28, Right to life whether the death sentence should be maintained or be eliminated from the first draft constitution in the on-going southern province convention.

Most delegates unanimously upheld Article 28 clause 3 which states that ‘a person may be deprived of life if that person has been convicted of capital offence and sentenced to death,’

But others argued that it would defeat the preamble which declares the republic as a Christian nation saying we are governed by the principles of the Bible which says thou shall not kill.

Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC), Livingstone bishop secretary, Fr. Clifford Mulasikwanda said the principles of Christianity while Monze central parliamentarian, Jack Mwiimbu insisted that the clause stands as it is in the draft constitution.

However, convention chairperson, Solomon Muzyamba put the motion to a vote that would be conducted through a secret ballot by tomorrow with the session closing with a prayer from Fr. Mulasikwanda asking God for guidance overnight for the voting process over the motion by the delegates.

Earlier, Delegates at the on-going Southern Province Constitutional Consultative Convention resolved that the Zambia adopts a federal system of governance.

The delegates resolved that Zambia should adapt to the federal system of governance but still remain a one Unitary State.

Making amendments to the first draft constitution, the delegates resolved that the words “devolved system of governance” in the Preamble should be replaced with the words “federal system of governance”.

The delegates said once the Preamble is amended, it will allow the local people to manage their own resources in a more amicable manner.

The Preamble in the current draft constitution reads” RESOLVE AND UPHOLD the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural character of our nation and the self actualisation of people living in different Provinces of Zambia and their right to manage their own local affairs and resources in a devolved system of governance within a unitary State.

Convention Chairperson, Solomon Muzyamba, ordered the house to go for a ballot vote after a lengthy debate at which the majority scored 90 votes against the opposing 57 while one delegate abstained out of the total 148 total votes casted.

Meanwhile, the constitutional delegates have resolved that Article 47 be amended so that the State should compensate claims by victims as ruled in the courts of law within the period of three months.

Under the current draft constitution, Article number 47 (3) sub clause (e) states that “the judgement may be enforced by execution against the state after one year of the delivery of judgement”.



  1. Abolish the death penalty and the so called “Christian nation” clause. No matter what the crime is, you can not justify the taking away of life because of the crime. Abolish the death penalty to life in prison.
    The world is changing and Zambia will soon have more than 10% of her population that are non Christians. I believe we should respect these people’s beliefs as much as we expect them to respect our Christian religion. So we should treat all the 90% of Christians and the other 10 % equally.

    • You are advocating for removal of ‘death penalty’ because you have never suffered pain of losing a loved one who is a sole bread winner in your family. What respect do you want a criminal to get? My own innocent brother was gunned down in cold blood and you expect people who have lost their siblings etc to say No to death penalty? What rights should be respected for such killers? What about the one who the criminal kills, did the criminal respect their rights? There are some cases of self defence which the courts normally analyse critically, those should be treated differently. Not some criminal who is a robber and kills my own brother because he wants to steal the car that he did not sweat for? You will feel it when it happens to you.

    • Go to the muslim,islam world and tell them to do that, why should we do that to accomodate the minority immigrants, think of it can they do that in the muslim world to accomodate 10% christians, this is for the moral uprightness of our country considering the diverse ethnicity that Zambia has therefore the christian ternets are the onlyones that binds us as a Zambia.

  2. When a person commits a crime especially the unlawful killing of another person, then the victimizer relinguishes his /her right to life. The life/s of a victim or victims is/are lost and, the survivers (dependants of the victim/s) should see that justice is delivered in terms of a conviction/s. The survivers who eventually also become victims should not be made to believe that justice is delivered but it must be delivered through the death sentence.
    The victims should also recieve restitution from the state, not just only the sentence which the state hands down on the convicted person.
    Depite research conducted by social scientist in the US that the death sentence does not deter the commissions serious crimes like murder 1 or armed robberies with aggravated circumtances,it works in.

    • @BOOM & WHATEVER #2
      ‘Survivors’ not ‘survivers’
      ……research coducted by social scientists in the US……..
      ……does not deter the commissions of serious crimes like murder one or……

  3. I’m impressed with the level of maturity in the debates taking place in Southern Province! and yet one former Minister for Commerce said Zambians will not understand Windfall Tax. Another leader recently said, Zambians are primitive! Even the comments here are spot on!

  4. THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA. Looking at the present politics in Zambia, I’m for the federal system of governance. It will lead to the development of the entire Zambia. On death sentence, may the clergymen please guide us. While the bible says thou shall not kill, it also says he who kills by the sword shall also die by the sword.

  5. Just kill them including thieves, too much useless people in the society. I wonder the literacy level of the participants to debate over a straight forward issue. How can someone who rapes and kills survive once caught ..kill themmmmmmm

  6. God did not say thou shalt not kill, he said thou shalt not murder. Justified homicide is accepted in the Bible. Ati priest, he doesn’t even understand the Bible sure!


  8. DR Sondashi pointed out that the we need separation of power, the President alone can not be the Brain Of The Nation. jst dreaming of changes, appoint judges High police posts, army , disolve boards and the like. we need federal system. Death sentence will depend on what Zambians feel is justice no what other country believe in, USA and (UK and Spain), a republic and Kingdoms respectively yet developed and uphold human rights and best amoung the examples of democracy, so feel free to be different Zambia but just.

  9. There’s no “Thou shalt not kill” command in the Bible.

    What you have got is ‘Thou shalt not commit murder. ‘

    Why do people confuse things?

    • That surely also depends on the Bible translation…. In the German Lutheran Bible translation it is written ” Du sollst nicht toeten”, thats what we learnd and grew up with. In English it means: you shall not kill.

      Keep in mind, that the original is neither English nor German… so rather take the wider interpretation to be on the save side.

  10. PF are scared of of death penalty.
    Abortion is death penalty, imagine if PF members were subjected or sentenced to abortion.. probably we would have been better off.

  11. I hope we will at last have a constitution that’s people driven. Killing killers should be maintained. Scrap the christian nation crap, our country does not qualify as a christian nation. Scandalous behavior by the clergymen and their followers rules this out. They are too hypocritical and false. There’s nothing Christ like about their behavior. Also curb or clip the powers of the president. That’s how dictators are created.

    • Some of you are so dull and don’t understand “Christian Nation” clause. It simply means dedication of your country to the Lord; just like you can dedicate your child/children to Him. Let this clause remain. It does not infringe one’s rights in any way. Those of you who believe in the devil are free to practice your beliefs and those of us who a Christians, leave us alone. Zambia is tolerant of other religions because you have seen our colleagues the Muslims worshipping freely and making noise early in the morning without hinderance. A Zambian cannot practice Christianity in Muslim countries. So appreciate the tolerance.

  12. people driven consitution – my ass. was the consitutions in the countries you are trying to copy people driven. NO. UK consitution was written by a few aristocrats, US consitution by a few “founding fathers”, japan monarch driven etc. let’s face it only a very small number of our country men understand the complexities of a consititution. Now you want every zambian to drive the consitution good luck.

  13. federal system – my ass. name any federal gorvenments, let alone functional ones, are in africa? Let us develop a system that works for us based on our specific country conditions. No based on copy-catting. China has it’s own system, US it’s own, Russia is developing it’s own, Japan it’s own etc.

  14. #14 Well researched, actually American (USA) constitution was written by 1 & only 1 Catholic priest or those days Monk. The “founding father” read it and they said “this damn good constitution”, what happens now they just amend little, mean just changing some words to fit to current times.
    Libya: Constitution was hand written by one, and I can tell you just one single person his name shall ever be called Gaddafi. And he kept it in his pocket ( name written in 7 forms).
    Promised Land: Moses wrote just 10 points, on behalf of masses.

  15. While sentencing to death people convicted for murders may sound like a just punishment it can only be so of the whole judicial process was fool-proof. However we all know that courts sometimes do make mistakes. So the possibility of an innocent man who has erroneously been convicted being given a death sentence make me feel that the ultimate sentence should be life in prison with hard labour. Atleast in that case one is given the benefit of doubt and should evidence surface in future to exculpate someone who was wrongly convicted their is an option for redress by retrial-ling them and maybe even being released. However if an innocent person has already been executed there is nothing that can be done thereafter. Though the situations are extremely rare they do happen

  16. What will be the next step in the constitution making process after the provincial conventions? I am wondering how the outcomes from the 10 different provinces will all be taken into account to move to the next step. If divergent views arise from the various provinces on specific clauses (say 5 provincial conventions are for the death penalty and the other 5 are against) will this be subject to referendum or not? Would be nice if the road-map for the whole process was made more widely available.

  17. Any one who, with intent, takes another’s life should have theirs taken away from them. This is the natural law if justice. With the christian preable, it was inserted by a dead stinking thief, take it would because it stinks! We are Africans and should learn to respect ourselves and our culture, not adopting these other cultures and beliefs of other people. No wonder things are not working for us, we have forsaken the spirits of our own ancestors and their spirits are not happy with this treachery!

  18. And Sata, he is a pure Polepole. On one hand he is praying every Sunday in a catholic church while the very next day he is cozy cozy with Sangoma Maduma and ordering the police to deny permits. Awa suwa, bu Satani bwa CNP bwa nunka!

    • Why bring in Maduma, you must be some incompetent former employee of ZNBC who has a bitter pill to swallow. I would urge you to swallow it because Maduma and Sata are here to stay until further notice.

  19. I hope someone will not prevent our soldiers going into war. They go to war to “kill”. Ati thou not kill. On Christian nation issue. This must be critically looked at, not through the eyes spiritual emotions, but realistically. This declaration will bring war in future. There will be a good upright Zambian who qualifies to be President but his name will be Muhammad Banda and his religion Islam. Will the Christians accept him? After the reject on account of his faith, as likely going to happen with christian fundamentalists,will muslims accept this rejection based on his religion? This is what has brought wars in the world. Besides, u can’t legislate God. Faith is a personal matter and Jesus is a personal savior not a national souvenir. The Christian Bible is very clear about this.

    • But which Zambian can vote for a Muslim? Never in a thousand years. Zambia has been dedicated to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and no one will ever change this. Mark my words bro.

  20. The bible gives an account of Jesus being taken on a high mountain
    by the evil one and shown all the nations of the world and being promised by satan that these nations will be given to Jesus as a gift if Jesus worships Lucifer. Jesus out rightly rejects the offer. Reasons? Jesus created the world, how can anyone give him what already belongs to Him. Secondly, the offerer is a Devil. Thirdly and relevant to the Christian nation declaration, Jesus looks at individual persons not masses or swaths of land. “Behold I stand at the door and knock”. Jesus prefers to get permission from the one He wants to save
    , in short he gives choice. The christian faith is a personal choice not a national declaration or legislation. Sounds to me the declaration is not based on the principles and purpose…


  21. To simply put, the biblical injunctions about killing and murder are in perfect harmony with themselves. The only proper way to determine the meaning of a word with multiple meanings is to look at the context. In conclusion, the biblical instructions regarding killing, when viewed in context and not equivocated, are clearly harmonious and without contradiction. Certain types of killing, such as premeditated murder done out of malice, are easily identified from the context as forbidden killing. While capital punishment administered by the proper authority is clearly not under discussion in the biblical statements against “killing”.

    This argues for the current constitution. I am personally against killing in any form shape or size, unless one describes it as self-defense (slippery…

  22. @18 u ar disgrace to us all, a good number of peaple hv written good things only u. cn u grow up pliz. as for ther writers im greatful coz u ar helping peaple like me understand things better.

  23. @Chisenga, people don’t have to live in a non-Christian nation to know the difference. You should make a difference yourself because you live in a Christian nation. The difference is sin committed by a man is considered not sin in most non-Christian and Christian countries. Thieving is rampant is African countries because people want to have a meal on their table for their families. Countries where is social security money drawn every week is given to those who are not in employment. That is the difference.


  25. Declaring a country a Christian nation is being “territorial”. Jesus was not territorial or discriminatory. That’s why most of His friends were outside the normal Jewish preferences. He talked to a samaritan woman at the well who was by any standards a prostitute. He ate in. Zacheius’ house who over charged the jews on behalf of the most hated people, the Roman colonialists. He healed the Roman centurion’s servant. Jesus was not territorial, He was a revolutionary. In other words, He went beyond human prescribed boundaries. How can you now draw geographical limitations by declaring a country this or that in His name. Jesus is in Zimbabwe as much as He is in Iraq, Egypt and saudi arabia. He transcends Human prescriptions and descriptions. How can politicians and some Christiasn…

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