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Monday, May 25, 2020

Correctional Services welcomes Constitutional Court’s decision to allow prisoners to vote

General News Correctional Services welcomes Constitutional Court’s decision to allow prisoners to vote

Zambia Correction Service Commissioner General Percy Chato
Zambia Correction Service Commissioner General Percy Chato
ZAMBIA Correctional Service Commissioner General Percy Chato has welcomed the Constitutional Court’s decision to allow remandees to vote because people in incarceration have the right to participate in elections.

Mr Chato said in an interview that inmates too have human rights, including that of voting.

“We welcome the court’s decision [to allow inmates to vote] and the inmates surely deserve to vote. We will study that decision and put in place regulations and benchmarks,” Mr Chato said.

Recently, Constitutional Court judge Enoch Mulembe ruled that remandees and other people in incarceration who have appealed against their cases be allowed to vote during elections.

Judge Mulembe ordered that persons in lawful custody and those whose freedom of movement is restricted under the law be allowed to vote in future elections.
This was after Prison Care and Counselling Association executive director Godfrey Malembeka petitioned the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Attorney General in the Constitutional Court over the matter.

Mr Malembeka wanted a declaration that all remandees and convicts who have appealed against their cases and are unable to secure bail be allowed to vote.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Its a good move but improve the Prison conditions or not even one Prisoner will vote for you! That money the Corrections Services is making from farm produce must be used to improve the state of the prisons! God is watching you guys and believe me God will judge you guys at Corrections and even you the Minister of Home Affairs if you don’t help the prisoners! Jesus had a heart for Prisoners which is why he said those that forsake such people will also be foresaken!

    • Does this mean that politicians will now be allowed to campaign in prisons. ? This law will only see a lot of dangerous criminals been released in exchange of a vote. No prisoner can vote for an opposition who has no power to release him except maybe a tonga. Whichever angle you look at it this law will be against the free and fair of elections. This now adds more strongholds for the ruling party.

    • Wrong move!
      The people incarcerated will do the logical thing; vote against the ruling party as a protest since they shall view the system as “Unfairly” having thrown them into correction facilities; especially now when three quarters of the remandees were thrown in on perceived political crimes.

  2. Bwana HH recently described your prisons as not fit and totally dehumanizing.How about allowing them to have their humanity stay intact?

  3. I do not think this is a right move as the prisoners will be compelled to vote for the ruling government with promise of being released. not a good idea at all.

    • I totally agree. Every candidate will be campaigning on the promise of releasing the prisoners when voted for.

  4. How many of the prisoners will have their nrc and voter registration cards with them. Not a well thought out idea
    Kubweka i agree with your sentiments… too easy to manipulate voting figures

    • Masalamuso, it is easy to get them (prisoners) NRCs and voter’s cards. Mobile NRC issuing and voter registration

  5. This need to be relooked at as these are the areas where manipulation of figures will likely to be done as the areas are no go areas for any Jim and Jack. I can see bleeding grounds for disputes.

  6. THIS IS NONSENSE ..REMANDEES HAVE NO CHANCE TO LISTEN TO CANDIDATES MANIFESTO NEITHER KNOWING CANDIDATES BY FACE, HOW TO VOTE ITS ONLY VOTING FOR INCUMBENT TO WAIT FOR PREROGATIVE OF MERCY. PLEASE ENOUGH IS ENOUGH NO FURTHER LOOPHOLES FOR RIGGING

  7. Its a good move, a prisoner has the right to life just you do; has the right to be treated with dignity just like you and I do; has the right to religious expression just like you do and so on. The prisoner has lost the right to liberty and freedom of movement, that is the only point of departure

  8. Though its costly its worth it.ECZ and courts should be coordinating in taking stock of how many Remandees/inmates each prison is having who are eligible by age and registered ones.Other-wise rigging fears will escarlet especially from Party Presidents who believe if they lose then someone has rigged elections in their favor.Proper records/list of inmates should be made Public.

  9. Wrong move. Prisoners have no right to excise their freedom of choice.

    U cannot have a right to vote when you do not have a right of free speech and free movement.

    Prisoners have no right to make a decision for free people. This is wrong. I thought a Zambian president is a lawyer by profession!

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