The Human Rights Commission has called on the new dawn government to abolish the death penalty as it violates the basic right to life.
Speaking during a consultative stakeholder meeting in Solwezi yesterday, Human Rights Commission Principle Information Officer, Simon Mulumbi described the death penalty as a degrading way of punishing people.
“Human rights commission is not saying those found guilty should go scot free but there should be given alternative punishments such as life sentences,” Mr Mulumbi said.
He questioned why the country is still holding on to the practice on paper when no President has authorized any execution for the past 24 years.
“The right to life is a prerequisite for the enjoyment of other rights therefore, stakeholders should move the government to take action against death penalty,” Mr Mulumbi said.
And Human rights commission investigations officer, Joel Mulemwa said the death penalty is not a deterrent as statistics show that there has not been an increase in the crime rate in countries where death penalty has been abolished.
Mr Mulemwa said the practice contradicts the rehabilitation aspect which government has moved to for offenders from punishment hence, the change of Zambia prisons service to Zambia correctional service.
Meanwhile different stakeholders including civil society organizations were in support of the abolishment with a minority who were against the abolishment.
The stakeholders against the abolishment said the difference is not seen because offenders are not being executed therefore, the President needs to start authorizing the executions in order for other potential offenders to avoid committing similar offenses.