12 February 2023 :
Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has commuted 390 death sentences to life imprisonment, six weeks after he abolished capital punishment, a cabinet minister said on 8 February 2023.
“So as it stands, we now do not have any inmates serving a death sentence following the abolishing of the death penalty,” Home Affairs Minister Jack Mwiimbu, told a news conference.
The 390 prisoners, including 11 women — all being held at Mukobeko maximum security prison in Kabwe, a town around 150 kilometres (95 miles) north of the Zambian capital Lusaka — will now serve life terms.
Hichilema, whose party was in opposition for over two decades, had promised that he would scrap capital punishment if elected to the top job.
He abolished the law enshrining the death sentence just two days before Christmas Day last year, in the largely Christian country.
Zambia which gained independence from British rule in 1964, and is home to 18 million people, became the fifth sub-Saharan African nation to abolish the death penalty in the past decade.