Zambia: Kabwe Residents Endorse Death Penalty
By Sylvia Mweetwa, 19 September 2012
Delegates to the Kabwe District consultative forum on drafting the Zambian Constitution yesterday upheld the death sentence clause with the majority submitting that if abolished, people will be taking the lives of others at will.
The adoption of the clause followed a heated debate after submissions by 21 organisations and individuals that called for the abolition of the death penalty to instead replace it with life imprisonment.
The delegates were at this stage subjected to voting with 56 supporting the upholding of the death penalty while 30 were against the clause.
Earlier, some delegates argued that the death penalty should be upheld, adding that keeping convicts in prison for life would worsen the already existing congestion in jails.
But others said it would be wrong to take away someone's life considering that Zambia was a Christian Nation and that such punishment "should be left to God".
The delegates debated Article 28 on the right to life as recommended in the first Draft Constitution.
District Commissioner Patrick Chishala appealed to the participants to take the deliberations seriously and put their personal interests aside if they were to contribute positively.
Mr Chishala was speaking when he officially opened the consultative forum yesterday.