To all media houses
For Immediate Release
CALLS FOR ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY IN ZAMBIA INTENSIFY AS REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT HIS EXCELLENCY HAKAINDE HICHILEMA LEADS THE CAMPAIGN
The death penalty in Zambia is as old as the Penal Code itself enacted in 1931, by our former colonial masters that on the contrary abolished it in their own country.
The last execution was conducted in January 1997, under the reign of President Dr. Frederick Chiluba (late) who a few weeks later commuted several death sentences into life imprisonment and went to declare Zambia a Christian Nation.
In this view, we commend all four previous Republican Presidents starting with late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, President Rupiah Bwezani Banda (late), late President Michael Chilufya Sata, and President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for their merciful commitment to maintain a moratorium through suspension of death sentences for the past 24 years.
Further, we not only commend but we are extremely encouraged by the incumbent President, H.E Hakainde Hichilema, for specifically seeking support from all Zambians to abolish the death penalty.
Abolishing the death penalty will also speed up actualization of the paradigm shift in Zambia from the punitive to the correctional and rehabilitative model which was precipitated by the repeal and replacement of the Prisons Act No. 97 into the Correctional Act No.37.
This saw the establishment of the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) under the Constitutional Amendment No. 2 signed by former President Lungu on 5th January 2016. The death penalty is therefore a foreign concept, it is un-Zambian, un-productive and expensive for nothing.
It does not give chance for a condemned person to say sorry and all it does is to target the poor who are unable to manage the intervention of a lawyer and in the process create hindrance technicalities in the criminal justice system for them to walk free.
We therefore commend the lead campaign by His Excellency, President Hakainde Hichilema, as he voices out to abolish the death penalty, and we implore all Zambians to heed to the Republican President’s call to systematically abolish the death penalty