Southern province constitution convention retains death penalty article

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Delegates to the ongoing Southern province constitutional convention have retained article 28 clause (3) which is about the death penalty in the current draft constitution.

The death penalty debates, which were yesterday adjourned by Convention Chairperson Solomon Muzyamba after delegates failed to resolve, was decided on by the majority vote of 73 votes from people that wanted it retained against 43 out of the total 123 votes cast.

A total of five delegates abstained from voting.

Under the current draft constitution, article 28 (3) states that “A person may be deprived of life if that person has been convicted of a capital offence and sentenced to death”.

ZANIS reports from Livingstone that delegates have also resolved that article 36 clause (1) on the “right to freedom of expression” be amended so that it reads “freedom to hold and express an opinion.

And the delegates have retained articles 37 and 38 on “access to information” and “freedom of the media” respectively in the current draft constitution.

However, the delegates resolved that “access to information article 38 clause (4) be amended so that it reads “all public owned media” and not state owned media only with the justification that state owned media were open to political exploitation.

Other articles that have so far been retained include article 40 on freedom of association and article 41 on freedom of assembly, demonstrate, picket, lock out and petition respectively.