The Zambian parliament on Tuesday passed a bill to abolish the death penalty, a move that would require presidential approval to take effect. Zambia has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1997, but it has not been abolished outright. The new law will finally put an end to the practice. Zambia is one of a handful of African countries to have death penalty laws on the books but not currently carrying out executions. Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan are the others.
The Penal Code Amendment Bill of 2022 was debated for the past two months in Zambia and only requires presidential assent to take effect on death penalty. The Bill seeks to amend the Penal Code to provide for the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. The Bill contains provisions for the death penalty to be imposed on persons convicted of murder where the murder is committed with aggravated circumstances.
Stephen KampyongoStephen Kampyongo, member of parliament from the opposition Patriotic Front party, said that his party has no objection to the proposed process but that they feel it should have started first with the supreme law of the land, the Constitution; especially part three: the Bill of Rights. He noted that the Constitution is the foundation upon which all laws in the country are built, and that it is important to ensure that any changes to the Constitution are done in a way that is consistent with the country’s values and principles.
The death penalty has long been a controversial topic in Zambia. Some people believe that it is an effective way to deter crime, while others believe that it is an inhumane form of punishment. After much debate, the Zambian parliament has decided to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a life imprisonment sentence. This is a significant step forward for human rights in Zambia, and it is hoped that other Southern Africa countries will follow suit.
Zambia placed a moratorium on the death penalty 25 years ago. However, the country has seen a recent resurgence in support for the death penalty, with a majority of Zambians now saying they believe it is an effective way to deter crime.
The government has also been mulling over reintroducing the death penalty for a range of crimes, including murder, rape, and child trafficking.
On Tuesday, Zambia’s parliament repealed a law criminalising defamation of the president, a move that is being celebrated as a victory for freedom of expression in the country. The old law had been used to stifle criticism of the government and muzzle the press, and its repeal is a sign that Zambia is committed to protecting free speech. This is good news for democracy in Zambia, and it sets a positive example for other countries in Africa that still have similar laws on the books.
The Zambian government’s move to repeal a law criminalising defamation has been seen as a step toward promoting media freedom and freedom of expression in the South African nation.
The law, which had been on the books for nearly 50 years, criminalised speech that was deemed to be insulting or libellous. But it was widely seen as a tool used by the government to stifle dissent and muzzle the press.
The repealing of the law criminalising defamation is being celebrated by many as a victory for free speech and expression in Zambia. It is seen as a significant step forward in the country’s transition to democracy.
There are still some restrictions on the media in Zambia, but the repealing of the law is a positive step. It means that people can express themselves freely without fear of being arrested or persecuted. This is an important step in Zambia’s journey to becoming a democracy.