Published on: Saturday, May 28, 2022

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has announced he is making moves to abolish the death penalty in the country (article available here).

“We will work with parliament to run this process as we transition away from the death penalty and focus on the preservation, and rehabilitation of life while still delivering justice for all,” he said on the eve of Wednesday’s Africa Freedom Day.

“This is important. We believe in it. Africa Freedom Day is a symbol of our collective commitment to secure a better future for all.”

Though Zambia has had the death penalty law, no executions have taken place since the late 90s.

“We warmly welcome the Zambian President’s pledge on 24 May to abolish the death penalty in the country and work with Parliament to end this cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment,” said Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Spokesperson.

“Use of the death penalty is incompatible with fundamental human rights and dignity,” he added. 

Zambia would also join the growing consensus worldwide for universal abolition of the death penalty.  Some 170 countries have abolished it, or introduced a moratorium, either in law or in practice.