The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) says President Michael Sata’s move to commit over 100 prisoners on death roll to life imprisonment is a demonstration of his values and respect towards the sanctity of human life.
FODEP says this is regardless of whether one is condemned or not.
FODEP has also commended President Sata for pardoning over 600 prisoners from various prisons across the country as part of celebrations to mark African Freedom Day on May 25.
FODEP Executive Director MacDonald Chipenzi said the action by President Sata must be commended by all human rights defenders, christians and proponents of the abolition of the death penalty in Zambia.
Mr.Chipenzi said in a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today that FODEP will encourage the Head of State to join the campaign against death penalty in the country.
He said it is for this reason that FODEP submitted to the constitution drafting committee to do away with Article 28 (2) and (3) in the draft Constitution which proposes for the inclusion of capital punishment.
Mr Chipenzi said FODEP vehemently argued against the retention of the death penalty in the Zambian constitution.
He said this was despite the majority delegates at the National Constitutional Convention supporting its retention in the constitution.
Mr. Chipenzi said it is clear that President Sata has exonerated himself and has made his position known through this action which he said is a strong worded message of his view on the death penalty.
He said the action by the Head of State is in accordance with the religious scriptures and is also in line with the attributes of a Christian Nation and people.
Mr. Chipenzi said his organisation is of the firm belief that it is not right for a Christian nation to be proponents of death through killing each other once one is found guilty of an offence.
He urged the nation to leave vengeance and death to God.
Mr. Chipenzi has since appealed to President Sata to commit all those prisoners serving death sentences in various prisons to life imprisonment.
He however appealed to the church and society at large to welcome and integrate the pardoned inmates and help them start life afresh.
Mr. Chipenzi also urged the pardoned inmates not to re-engage themselves in criminal activities.