Thursday, July 18, 2024

Stakeholders happy with plans to abolish the death penalty


Stakeholders have welcomed the idea by government to actualize the abolishment of the death penalty by law in Zambia.

This is rising from President Hakainde Hichilema’s speech on the eve of Africa Freedom Day national address where he stated that government will work with parliament to run through the process to transition away from the death penalty and focus on the preservation and rehabilitation of life and delivering justice for all.

Human Rights Commission Chairperson, Mudford Mwandenga said that the resolution is a landmark step towards enhancing the promotion and protection of the right to life.

Mr. Mwandenga explained that the death penalty constitutes the ultimate and irreversible gross violation of human rights which should never be practised anywhere in the world, especially in the 21st century.

Contained in a statement to media, Mr. Mwandenga noted that by abolishing the death penalty both in practice and law, Zambia will join the increasing global movement in which, a total of 108 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

He therefore noted that the current administration is within the range of the universally accepted best practices on abolishing the death penalty.

“The gesture by the President is an affirmation of Zambia’s transition from retributive to restorative justice and a demonstration of the reason behind the constitutional change in the name of the institution that is mandated to manage the welfare and rehabilitation of inmates,” Mr. Mwandenga stated.

Prisons Care & Counselling Association (PRISCCA) Executive Director, Godfrey Malembeka told ZANIS that the death penalty should be supported by Members of Parliament, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Church mother bodies, traditional leaders and all well- meaning Zambians.

Dr. Malembeka said that efforts have been made in the past to outlaw death penalty but unfortunately these have not been successful.

He explained that maintaining the death penalty serves very little purpose as he believes that it is not an effective deterrent to crimes that attract death penalty.

“The solution may lie in rehabilitating offenders while delivering justice and maintaining life imprisonment,” Dr. Malembeka noted.

Meanwhile, some church mother bodies have pledged to rally behind government in advocating for the abolishment of death penalty.

Independent Churches of Zambia Board Chairperson, David Masupa said that Zambia being a Christian nation, the move stands at variance with the Christian values and beliefs under the dispensation of grace and forgiveness.

Bishop Masupa referred to the Bible when Christ faced the death penalty but asked God to forgive his executioners, interpreting the abolishment of the death penalty.

The Bishop supported the life imprisonment penalty which he said serves as a lesson for people to regret and stop their wrong deeds.

Zambia has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1997 when the last executions took place.


  1. Hey I don’t know what you reporters mean by stakeholders. In a law, especially one like this one all of us citizens are stakeholders. We can’t hand such a responsibility to imagined “stakeholders”. In fact for such a law to be repealed we need a referendum. We don’t want to wake up and find ourselves crying like South Africa for the very same death penalty we abolished! Ati stakeholders happy. Have you consulted us? Stop reporting propaganda!

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