Zambian President Grants 246 Death Row Inmates Clemency

Zambian President Edgar Lungu gives a press briefing on July 6, 2017 at the Zambian State House in Lusaka. – Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Thursday justified invoking a state of emergency by alleging that opposition parties were behind a string of arson attacks intended “to create terror and panic”. Lungu denied that he was establishing a dictatorship in Zambia, a relatively stable country in recent years, and said his political rivals were trying to overturn last year’s election results. (Photo by DAWOOD SALIM / AFP)

President Edgar Lungu of Zambia has removed 246 inmates, who were on death row, and commutated their sentences to life sentences.

Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kampyongo, on Wednesday, said that among the inmates includes 225 males and 21 females.

He announced the commuting of the sentences during an event held at Mukobeko Maximum Prison in central Zambia’s Kabwe town which was streamed live on Facebook.

He made the clemency of death to life sentences for over 500 after 332 inmates had their sentences commutated in 2015.

He said the commutation of sentences of inmates would help decongest the section of condemned inmates at the prison which was meant for 50 people but now has over 400 inmates.

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The move, he said, was also meant to protect inmates from contracting COVID-19.

In spite of the death penalty being on the country’s statutes, Zambia has not carried out any execution since 1997.

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