By Abimbola Ogunnaike
No fewer than 390 inmates who are on death row in Zambia have been commuted to life imprisonment by the country’s President,
The inmates include 379 males and 11 females.
The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Jack Mwiimbu, confirmed the development, saying move follows the abolishment of the death penalty in December last year and is in line with Article 97 in the country’s constitution.
Mwiimbu told reporters during a press briefing on Thursday that no court was expected to impose the death penalty following its abolishment.
He, however, said inmates who had been slapped with the death penalty before its abolishment were still amenable to presidential pardon because the law was never applied retrospectively.
Hichilema announced last year that he decided to abolish the death penalty in line with his campaign promises to amend laws that inhibit the growth of democracy, good governance and human rights.Although Zambia has had the death penalty law, no executions have taken place since 1997.