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April 7 2009 | ZAMBIA


President Rupiah Banda: I will never sign any death warrant

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The Times of Zambia

Zambia: Rupiah Vows Never to Sign Any Death Warrant

Lusaka — PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has said that he will not sign a death warrant for any condemned inmate despite the death sentence still being enshrined in the Constitution.

And Germany has pledged to lure investors from that country into Zambia, saying the local investment climate was favourable.

Speaking at State House when he held a closed-door meeting with a delegation of German parliamentarians yesterday, Mr Banda said he would follow the footsteps of his predecessor, Levy Mwanawasa, who in the seven years of his tenure never signed a death warrant.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Kabinga Pande, who attended the closed-door meeting, told the Times in Lusaka that President Banda had said like late Dr Mwanawasa, he found it difficult to sign a death penalty against anyone on death row.

The German parliamentarians were members of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development.

"The president said that 'I am not God to send someone to die' and even said that many should be sensitised that he would not sign a death warrant on anybody," Mr Pande said.

President Banda also implored the German government and other European nations not to support the government of Andry Rajoelina in Madagascar.

President Banda said the German government should follow the decisions made by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) not to recognise and support the undemocratic government in that country.

Mr Banda said that SADC was for Madagascar restoring the constitutional government.

He urged Germany and other European countries to support the stance taken by the regional grouping.

He appealed to Germany and other European nations to assist in lifting sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Mr Banda said Zambia was satisfied that the government in Zimbabwe was working at normalising the situation and it was, therefore, important that sanctions against that country were lifted.

Speaking during the same meeting, German delegation leader, Sybille Pfeiffer commended Zambia for the efforts in resolving conflicts in the region as well as on the continent.

Ms Pfeiffer said the German government was particularly impressed with the efforts by Zambia to resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

She urged President Banda to continue with the efforts in resolving conflicts in neighbouring countries.

Earlier, the German delegation met Mr Pande at his office where a member, Karl Addicks said he would lure investors from his country to invest in Zambia.

Dr Addicks said the investment climate in the nation and the Government policies were conducive, saying Germans would find Zambia lucrative.

He told Mr Pande that he would soon be returning to Zambia to inform him of the possible investors that were willing to invest into the nation.

Dr Addicks said he was happy that the Government had initiated an indaba to discuss the effects of the global economic crisis.

He said any problems were solved through dialoguing, and the Government should, therefore, be commended for the move.

Speaking earlier, Mr Pande said that Germany and Zambia had a long history of economic and technical cooperation, which was testimony of the warm relationship between the two countries.

He said Germany's assistance was in line with the development priorities as enshrined in the Fifth National Development Plan.

"Germany is a lead cooperating partner in the water sector and the assistance has also been targeted towards other key areas such as Budget support, poverty reduction, decentralisation and rural development," Mr Pande said.

Copyright © 2009 The Times of Zambia. All rights reserved.


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