THE Zambia Correctional Services says it has 170 inmates on death row.
The 170 comprises 168 males at Mukobeko Maximum Security Facility in Kabwe. The two women are confined to the female section.
Zambia Correctional Services Commissioner General Percy Chato said before the courts of law convicted and sentenced the 170 people to death for committing various capital offences, there had been no inmate on death row. The number had accumulated since july 16, 2015.
“As at July 16, 2015, there was no one on death row following the presidential clemency of 332 inmates by His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Republican President. The number has risen since honourable courts have continued committing inmates to prison,” he said.
Mr Chato, however, said in response to a Press query that no inmate on death row had been hanged since 1997.
Mr Chato said that the last Head of State to sign the death penalty which eventually led to the execution by hanging of eight inmates at Mukobeko Maximum Security Facility was Frederick Chiluba.
Dr Chiluba’s successor Levy Mwanawasa refused to sign the death penalty during his reign, the precedent which subsequent presidents in Rupiah Banda, Michael Sata and Mr Lungu have carried on.
“There is no legal backing as to whether execution must not be carried out, it is on the Christian tenets since Zambia was declared a Christian Nation,” Mr Chato said.