This Week: Commuting of all death sentences historical for President Lungu

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By Kelvin Esiasa

I feel the sense of relief for a Prisoner who was waiting to be hanged but now he is free. I believe such a prisoner jumped to the sky to celebrate this relief. There is nothing exciting than the good news of forgiveness especially when the mercies of the Lord visit you and set you free from captivity.

The recent reports that President Edgar Lungu had pardoned all the 332 death row jailbirds and commuted their death sentences to life sentences should be applauded by all Zambians. ZNBC reported that President Lungu had commuted death sentences to life imprisonment of all the three hundred and 32 inmates at Mukobeko Maximum Prison in Kabwe.

President Lungu becomes the first Zambian President to forgive all Death row jailbirds. Obvious this is historic for the Zambian leader.

This decision that the President took, calls for the need to abolish the death sentence in Zambia. Death sentence in Zambia should be abolished. This is because its serves no purpose if the people who were charged with the responsibility were afraid to take it. After President Chiluba signed the execution of Prisoners in 1997 all the Presidents after him refused to sign the death penalty because they all argued that it’s only God who was allowed to take persons’ life.

This allowed the number of death row jail birds to increase resulting in congestion in the holding cells.  So what President Lungu has done is historical and it calls for the abolishment of death penalty in Zambia. There are many reasons why death penalty should be abolished. Moreover, studies have consistently failed to demonstrate that executions deter people from committing crime anymore than long prison sentences.

Amnesty International reports that as of the end of 2013, more than two-thirds of all countries have abolished death penalty. According to Amnesty International’s 2014 report on death penalties, in 2013, at least 778 executions were reported in 22 countries. With at least 369 executions in the year, Iran topped the list, followed by Iraq (169+), Saudi Arabia (79+), USA (39) and Somalia( 34).

The global executions figure does not include China which is believed to have been executed thousands of convicts.

Supporters of the death penalty often arguments that retribution for violent crimes as being instrumental in justice. However, several studies and research have show that taking the life of another human being through capital punishment only perpetuates a cycle of violence. Furthermore, other research has shown that flaws in our justice system has led to innocent being prosecuted, guilty being set free, and a plethora of other biases being present during capital punishment cases.

Many arguments for the death penalty are based on retribution for the victim of a murder as well as the victim’s family and friends. The desire for revenge is understandable. But Enforcement of the death penalty denies the opportunity for rehabilitation. Many individuals who are charged with crimes that can entail capital punishment are mentally and emotionally unstable. These characteristics call for a movement toward rehabilitation rather than execution.

So life in Prison is punishment enough. Life imprisonment is certainly a deterrent in fact, it may be worse than death itself. Life in prison allows for rehabilitation, whereas death is final.

Therefore, I appeal to President Lungu also to Pardon all pocket picking Prisoners and reduce their sentences to community sentences. This move will help the Prison service to decongest the Prisons.

Lastly, I end by congratulation Mr. Percy Chato and his team for working extreme hard to ensure that Zambia Prison receive the attention it deserves. Also congratulation for the Zambian Prison on the first appointment of their first Commissioner General.


Kelvin Esiasa – President for Zambian Society for Public Administration and Society for Family Business.


3 Responses to This Week: Commuting of all death sentences historical for President Lungu

  1. Mr Kelvin wait for the armed robbers to visit and rape your wife in your presence. Then you will praise Lungu for pardoning criminals.

    July 19, 2015 at 8:20 am

  2. Sometimes article writers(@ Kelvin Esiasa) must not rash to display their ill,inept,unhuman,moral bankruptcy trash on online media!Such hellish diabolical views must be caged within oneself!There’s a chasm of views over death sentences,Having lost a parent in a murderous manner would not swallow such a hollow & unresearched compulsion which must kept in oneself!We expect level headedness in articulating social events & evils in society! Only a blind petty egoistic & self-centred adult would havenly take your opinion lightly.In any case,retribution of a prison can not be quantified & known! Worse still,in Zambia life now outside prison is the same as life being spent in prison!In short,Kelvin,please next time take a more radical stance on such social issues as it touches on emotions of people who lost their loved ones/breadwinners in a brutal stoically manner & remember that only God forgives truly & not humans!

    The Civilised Sam
    July 19, 2015 at 11:06 am

  3. Kelvin, you have put your ideas and feelings about death row in ink and that is everyone’s right.

    To attack kelvin for his view is not fare! Please if you have a better analysis, put your ideas forward! Who in this World would wish for the things some 2 people are mentioning here.

    Kelvin Esiasa, thanks for sharing your piece of intellect with all.

    July 22, 2015 at 11:30 am

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31