Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Amendment of penal code will not remove death penalty-Mundubile

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Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Brian Mundubile says the death penalty will remain on the statute books despite Government’s amendment of the Penal Code to abolish Capital Punishment.

Mr Mundubile who is also PF presidential candidate, said the death penalty will remain on the statute books because it falls under Part Three (III) of the Constitution, which is the Bill of Rights.

“Yes, some other enabling legislation like the Penal Code could be amended but that does not mean that it is no longer on our statute book. So maybe to put it in layman’s language, the UPND Government took a shortcut in trying to blind off that particular provision of the law. But what the proper procedure would be is a push for a referendum such that when there are amendments to Part III of our Constitution as required by Article 79 of our Constitution, then appropriate amendments can be made,” Mr Mundubile said.

He said the Constitution is the “grundnorm”, which represents the will of the people and that Zambians should be allowed to express themselves on how they want to be governed.

“If the Zambian people say they want us as a country to away with the death penalty, they will speak through the referendum so that it is removed from our Constitution. Before that you will have a smaller number of MPs with simple majority of Parliament amending the Penal Code and that is not the supreme will of the Zambian people. Because remember that the constituent power of this Republic, the sovereign power resides in the Zambian people. That is why there are safeguards to amend the Constitution, particularly part III,” Mr Mundubile said.

He said that there was an attempt to amend the Bill of Rights through a referendum held alongside the 2016 presidential elections.

He said, the referendum failed to meet the 50 percent participation threshold because then opposition UPND vigorously campaigned against it.

“You will agree with me that in areas where President Lungu won, they also voted for the referendum, in areas where President Hakainde Hichilema won in 2016, they voted against the referendum. It is a known fact that the UPND had gone all out to vote against the referendum. So sometimes we have people who talk about social shame, I think this is one area where the UPND Government should take a portion of the social shame for having gone flat out to campaign and vote against the referendum and now they want to come through the backdoor to begin to sneak and find shortcuts,” he said.

He said, political leaders should be careful with what they do when in opposition, adding that, the UPND vigorously campaigned against Constitution Amendment Bill 10 of 2019.

“The reason why President Hichilema or indeed the Minister of Justice, Hon. Mulambo Haimbe is unable to respond with satisfaction any question posed to them to do with constitution amendments is because of the arguments they had advanced against Constitution Amendment Bill No. 10. One of those arguments was that there was insufficient consultation and that the PF Government did not garner sufficient consensus on constitution amendments,” Mr Mundubile said.

He added that the PF undertook thorough consultative processes which involved all stakeholders in the constitution making process.

He said, there was widespread collection of submissions by the Ministry of Justice, the National Democratic Stakeholder Summit held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, meeting of political parties in Siavonga and Introduction of the of National Democratic Bill in Parliament, which was aimed at governing the Constitution amendment process and the National Dialogue Forum.

“To sum it up, the UPND Government should have just waited to amend Part III of the constitution through a referendum to do away with the death penalty because then, the will of the Zambian people would have been expressed through that amendment. As it is now, it is the voice of the minority, maybe a 100 Members of Parliament without sufficient consultation countrywide,” Mr Mundubile said.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Policy Dialogue has commended President Hakainde Hichilema for repealing the Defamation of the President Law.

CPD Executive Director Caroline Katotobwe said President following through with his campaign promise to repeal a law that has limited free speech for so long shows his commitment to freedom of expression and democracy.

“As stakeholders we are elated that this repressive law is finally done away with.Thus, allowing citizens to freely express their views without fear of prosecution as was the case in the past,” Ms Katotobwe said.

She said President Hichilema’s actions give hope that similar retrogressive laws will be repealed and replaced by more progressive laws for the betterment of the people of Zambia.

In a statement announcing the repeal, President Hichilema said during campaigns for the Presidency, he promised to amend all laws that inhibit the growth of democracy and good governance, impede human rights and basic freedoms and today he has delivered.

18 COMMENTS

  1. The Human Rights Commission which also has eminent lawyers has commended HH. So the PF are saying they have better legal brains or understanding than the rest of the Zambians.
    Please Keep quiet if you don’t have anything to talk about.

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  2. Not sure if all Zambians want repealing of the death penalty………….

    Some people deserve to be put to death legally …………..

    you maliciously , deliberately take a life……….

    You should pay with your own life…………

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  3. Referendum? Forgive me, but, am I the only one thinking the gentleman appears to be downplaying a very commendable move? Killing anyone in cold blood as punishment is abhorrent and should not be practised in 2022, in a Christian country! Moving away from barbaric acts – with less palaver – is the sensible thing to do, isn’t it?

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    • Ask the people who have had loved ones murdered in cold blood…….

      The affected victims should have more say on this………..

  4. “He added that the PF undertook thorough consultative processes which involved all stakeholders in the constitution making process of Bill 10”
    These chaps must think everyone has Amnesia and are foooools which stakeholders did you have? Chaps like Chilufya Tayali and anyone who had questions you ignored or kicked out

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  5. This ***** is rubbish with rubbish mind. We are all Christian. Death penalitis are no from this
    time. Only primitive societies still carry out death penalties. Mainly only on poor people who cannot afford to pay good lawyers. Rich people like Brian Mundubila an his family shall always escape death penalties. Because they are rich from through stollen money from poor Zambians.
    All the former presidents in Zambia used to refuse to sign death warrants. Because of being Christians. Only that criminal President from Congo gave permission to hang 15 people to death.
    What a shame. Please just abolish this rubbish inhuman outdated law.

  6. MUN DUBILE 1I ALREADY LOOKING LIKE ONE READY TO KILL. And Should HE BECOME THE PRESIDENT HE Shall RECRUIT OVER 10 000 KILLERS OF OFFENDERS . BUT HE Should REALIZE Zambia IIs A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY DON’T KILL EXCEPT IN THE WAR. / DON’T EVEN THE WAR PRISONERS

  7. Should HE BECOME THE PRESIDENT HE Shall RECRUIT OVER 10 000 KILLERS OF OFFENDERS . BUT HE Should REALIZE Zambia IIs A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY DON’T KILL EXCEPT IN THE WAR. / DON’T EVEN THE WAR PRISONERS

  8. WHY SHOULD A HOPEFUL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OPPOSE THE ABOLITION OF DEATH SENTENCE IN A CHRISTIAN NATION LIKE Zambia ? IS IT THAT PART OR HIS VISION/MANIFESTO IS TO KILL UNARMED CONDEMNED CRIMINALS IN COLD BLOOD ?

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  9. Yes the starting point is the constitution. Like the bible, require guide unbiased interpretation. Such documents are not written in plain English for obvious reason- power. Therein lies the ruling class argument,
    Read Counsel Linda Kasonde on LT untainted argument as a legal expert whether or not amendments “stand on all fours”.
    Will the courts choose the amended subsidiary law or follow the constitution in part III?
    To the extent that any law conflicts the constitution which opens with…”We the people of Zambia …”, does that become a nullity? Or is this not how the previous regime intruded lacunas as unintended consequence? You get my point. I submit.

  10. Alinuwila is fair and I agree with tarino. And my view as a lawyer, the death penalty must be removed and abolished unconditionally since Zambia is already declared as a Christian nation

  11. Stop pretending as if our prisons are luxurious. We have some of the worst jails on this planet, a death penalty can seem lenient when it comes to Zambian prisons. Now imagine when they put you on life? It’s like testing hell before you get there. Let the president do what he needs to do on this one.

  12. Here is my take on the death penalty.
    1. If a referendum is held to determine what must happen to it, I and several friends and family and all members of the church I go to will vote that it be maintained because whereas none of us should take another person’s life, God has authorised any government to take the life of any person who deliberately kills another person. My church and my family mbers understand this and agree that it is scriptural. Government kills a killer on God’s behalf. You may wish to read the following Bible passages for proof of my argument. Exodus 20:13, Numbers 35:16, Romans 13:1-10.
    2. The reason why God authorised governments to kill deliberate takers of other people’s lives is because of the sanctity and preciousness of human life. God created us in His own…

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