Government says it is committed to ensuring that any amendments to the constitution represent the will of the people.
Speaking in Brussels at the just ended 7th edition of the World congress against death penalty, Minister of Justice, Hon. Given Lubinda says although government is in support of the UN declaration of human rights and the abolishing of the death penalty, the will of the people has to be respected.
He said unlike other laws that could easily be amended, the death penalty is a constitutional matter that could only be amended through a referendum.
Mr Lubinda revealed that during a referendum to abolish capital punishment, only 9 out of the 72 districts supported the abolishment.
He explains that although death penalty is still being upheld in the country’s constitution, no Zambian leader has signed it since 1997.
The minister also explained that since assuming office, Republican President His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu has so far pardoned 3 prisoners and commuted 332 prisoners on death row to life imprisonment.
“We have heard that Presidents are not signing warrants of execution this is because even in Africa politicians are saying NO to death penalty. Globally we have agreed that we are going to end the death penalty but what is happening in our sovereign states is different. As the case is in my country, we have had a moratorium for the last 22 years, in which 600 prisoners on death row were commuted to life imprisonment and 30 were pardoned. From 2011 to 2016 my country was going through a constitution review process and the question of the death penalty was put to the people because it is enshrined in our country’s constitution. We as law makers cannot just go to parliament and amend the constitution.
The Zambian government is committed to ensure that the constitution represent the will of the people through a referendum. We are a government that is always listening to the collective wisdom of our citizens, and if they decide to vote for the retention of the death penalty, we do just that”, he explains.
He has since called on the Human Rights activists and Civil Society Organisations to partner with political leaders and government in the move to abolish capital punishment.
The world is on the move towards the universal abolition of the death penalty. As of July 2018, 142 countries had abolished capital punishment either by law or practice representing two thirds of the countries while 56 countries have retained the practise.
The World Congress against the Death Penalty, an essential meeting of abolitionist activists, encourages countries to make concrete commitments, mobilizes public opinion and helps to develop common strategies.
The 7th edition of the conference that was organised by Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort -ECPM in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and under the sponsorship of Belgium, the European Parliament, Switzerland and the European Union attracted 1500 delegates from 115 countries across the globe representing senior government officials, Community activists, lawyers defending death row inmates, political leaders, parliamentarians.
Let the will of the people prevail all the time, not selectively.
When elected into office as President, Member of Parliament, Mayor/Council Chairman, and Councillor you emphatically proclaim that the will of the people as enshrined in the constitution has democratically prevailed.
When death sentences are presented to you by the court justices for execution you sit on them. This is not only a mockery of the justice system, but utter betrayal of the will of the people enshrined in the constitution. Double standards must end. Chiwamila galu…
If HH was given death penalty in last treason case, I don’t Lubinda would not have been allowed to attend that empty conference.
Is Zambia is among the 56 who are still going to hang people at Mukobeko or is Keith Mutaka now sparred?
Last time you departed from what we told you and instead elected to listen to those UPND maniacs who wanted the Constitution enacted as adopted by that circus gathering. Now you see the mess you created? If you do that again we will just follow you individually and beat you because there’s no opposition in Zambia
Last time it was adopted by the PF “lunatics” led by the “anointed”, “visionary” and disbarred embezzler.
You have problem with memory boy, or you may think that the rest of Zambians are, like you, suferers of genetically transmitted !imbecility?
PF to close Prime TV
There are founded fears that the PF regime through its agency called Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) will shut down Prime TV following the media house’s appearance for hearing at Massmedia today.
Yesterday the hearing couldn’t proceed as IBA Director General Josephine Mapoma ruled that the Prime TV team was not ready and that they would inform them on the next date of the meeting but in unexplained circumstances they suddenly wrote that the hearing takes place.
Prime TV team responded to the charges categorically and stated that the expose of violence yielded positive results as police lived in to arrest the perpetrators of the crimes.
Meanwhile, the Southern Africa Network Against Corruption (SANAC) says it is concerned with the manner the IBA is…
… IBA is handling matters of Private Broadcasters in Zambia.
‘We are particularly shocked with the directive by the IBA to Prime TV in the which the Authority has asked the Station to apologise to the Patriotic Front Secretary General, Mr. Davies Mwila who apparently chased a Prime TV crew from the latter’s Press briefing. This directive could have been the opposite.
Further, we have noted with dismay incensant attempt to control editorial policy of Private Broadcasters. This defeats the Independence of broadcasters, which the IBA must at all time promote as enshrined in the IBA Act.
The IBA board must endeavor to resisted the temptation from those in power to gag the media, which can lead to the obliteration of media freedom, which is a cornerstone of democracy and stands…
…, which is a cornerstone of democracy and stands at the pinnacle of citizens’ rights.
The IBA board does not wish to go down as a contributor to the distraction of Press Freedom.
Notwithstanding, Zambians are in awe at the manner the IBA has failed to censure ZNBC’s editorial and news coverage that has deliberately taken a partisan stance. The IBA is not created to chastise private practioners, but to also check the operations of ZNBC
Without dialogue, any amendment to the constitution will be crap to be called PF/Lubinda constitution. Such a sham cannot be refered to Zambian constitution unless in the heads of individuals with the brain of a RAT.
Treating that amendment like a personal document, it will be your crap not ours and the people you’re alienating. Let there be a consensus for that document to have a long lifespan. Otherwise it will be scrapped by the next government
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