Death Penalty Database

Zambia

Information current as of: July 20, 2015

General

Official Country Name

Republic of Zambia (Zambia). [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Eastern Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Abolitionist de facto. Zambia’s last execution was carried out in 1997. [3]

Methods of Execution

Hanging. [4]

References

[1] BBC, Country Profiles: Zambia Profile, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14112920, May 21, 2013.
[2] U.N., Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm, Oct 31, 2013.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 29, ACT 50/001/2010, Oct. 22. 2010.
[4] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, sec. 303, Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006.

Country Details

Language(s)

English (official), Bemba, Lozi, Nyanja, Tonga. [1]

Population

13,800,000. [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

At least 4. In August 2015, the Zambia Prisons Service stated that there were 3 death-sentenced prisoners in Zambia, all of whom were men. [3] At least one additional death sentence has been issued since then. [4]

The small size of the country's death row is the result of several presidential commutations. On July 16, 2015, President Edgar Lungu commuted the death sentences of 332 inmates, all held at the Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison in Kabwe, to life imprisonment. [5] As we believe that all death-sentenced inmates are held in this prison, we believe that President Lungu commuted all death sentences in the country, an assessment later confirmed by the Zambia Prisons Service. [6]

In December 2013, there were 214 people on death row, following former President Michael Sata’s commutations of 123 death sentences. [7] Nine death sentences were imposed for murder in 2013. [8] At least 13 death sentences were imposed in 2014, also all for murder. [9]

(This question was last updated on Nov. 5, 2015.)

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on October 18, 2017)

0. [10]

Executions in 2016

0. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [13]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions.

Executions in 2013

0. [14]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions.

Executions in 2012

0. [15]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions.

Executions in 2011

0. [16]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions.

Executions in 2010

0. [17]

Executions in 2009

0. [18]

Executions in 2008

0. [19]

Executions in 2007

0. [20]

Year of Last Known Execution

1997. [21]

On January 24, 1997, 8 prisoners were executed on the same day that President Chiluba pardoned 600 inmates. Seven of the prisoners had been convicted of murder, and the eighth had been convicted of murder and armed robbery. [22]

References

[1] BBC, Country Profiles: Zambia Profile, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14112920, May 21, 2013.
[2] BBC, Country Profiles: Zambia Profile, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14112920, May 21, 2013.
[3] Zambia Daily Mail, 3 inmates on death row, https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=41354, Aug. 24, 2015.
[4] Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, Court upholds death sentence, http://www.znbc.co.zm/?p=24959, Nov. 4, 2015.
[5] Michael Chawe, Zambian President spares 332 death row inmates, African Review, http://www.africareview.com/News/Zambian-president-spares-death-row-inmates/-/979180/2792474/-/dokxai/-/index.html, Jul. 17, 2015. Reuters, Zambian president gives death row inmates life sentences, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0PQ18E20150716, Jul. 16, 2015.
[6] Zambia Daily Mail, 3 inmates on death row, https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=41354, Aug. 24, 2015.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 8, ACT 50/001/2013, Mar. 27, 2014.
[8] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 8, ACT 50/001/2013, Mar. 27, 2014.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[10] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[11] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[12] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 31, 2014.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[20] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[21] Amnesty Intl., Zambia: Missed Opportunity to Join Worldwide Trend Toward Abolition of the Death Penalty, AFR 63/001/2010, Feb. 10, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Penalty: Countries Abolitionist in Practice, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/countries-abolitionist-in-practice, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[22] Human Rights Watch, Human Rights in Zambia since the 1996 elections, Ch. V The Death Penalty, http://www.hrw.org/reports/1997/07/01/human-rights-zambia-1996-elections, Jul. 1, 1997.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Murder.
Any person convicted of murder can be sentenced to death. [1]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Causing the death of a person while committing an intentional felony is punishable by death. [2]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Participating in a robbery where at least one person uses a firearm is punishable by death for all participants. Likewise, for every participant in a robbery where any offensive weapon is used, causing grave injury, the punishment is death. [3] There are narrow exceptions. A person cannot be punished with death if that person was not armed during the robbery and was unaware that collaborators were armed while committing the robbery, [4] or if that person could not reasonably have contemplated that grievous harm might be inflicted in the course of the offense. [5]

Treason.
A person who commits high treason is punishable by death. [6]

Comments.
Aggravated robbery need not result in death to be punished by death. The penalty turns on the use of a firearm or the infliction of grievous harm, and not on whether the offense causes death. [7]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

Yes. [8] The legislative language for aggravated armed robbery implies a mandatory death sentence (“the penalty…shall be death”), an interpretation which has been confirmed by the courts. [9]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Participating in a robbery where at least one person uses a firearm is punishable by death for all participants. Likewise, for every participant in a robbery where any offensive weapon is used, causing grave injury, the punishment is death. The offense may, but need not, result in death for the mandatory death penalty to apply. [10] There are narrow exceptions. A person cannot be punished with death if that person was not armed during the robbery and was unaware that collaborators were armed while committing the robbery, [11] or if that person could not reasonably have contemplated that grievous harm might be inflicted in the course of the offense. [12]

Comments.
It is unclear whether treason triggers a mandatory death sentence. The legislative provision states that an individual who commits treason “shall be liable to suffer death.” [13] Courts are not uniform in the interpretation of this language. In contrast, the mandatory death penalty provisions relating to armed robbery provide that “the penalty shall be death,” a significant difference in wording from the treason provision. [14]

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

None. No one has been executed in Zambia since 1997. [15]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
The Penal Code stipulates that the sentence of death shall not be pronounced against a person who was under the age of eighteen years old at the time of the offense. In lieu of a death sentence, the individual is to be detained during the President's pleasure, and “when so sentenced he shall be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the President may direct.” [16] This conforms with Zambia’s international obligations as a party to the ICCPR [17] and the African Charter of the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [18] which both prohibit the execution of juveniles.

Pregnant Women.
Pursuant to the Penal Code, when a pregnant woman is convicted of an offense punishable with death, she shall be given a life sentence in lieu of a death sentence. [19] This conforms with Zambia’s international obligations as a party to the ICCPR [20] and to the Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa. [21]

Intellectually Disabled.
The Penal Code provides a defense to murder for defendants “suffering from such abnormality of mind (whether arising from a condition of arrested or retarded development of mind or any inherent causes or is induced by disease or injury) which has substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his acts or omissions in doing or being party to the killing.” [22] A defendant who benefits from this defense may be convicted of the non death-eligible offense of manslaughter. [23]

The Prisons Act, moreover, requires that the president be informed if a death-sentenced prisoner is “adjudged to be a mentally disordered or defective person and the sentence of death has not, at the time when he is certified to be of sound mind, been commuted to a term of imprisonment.” [24] While this provision does not prohibit the execution of a prisoner suffering from intellectual disabiilty at the time the sentence is to be carried out, it contemplates the president exercising his power to grant clemency if a mental disorder develops or is diagnosed after sentencing.

Mentally Ill.
Under the Penal Code, a person is not criminally responsible for an act “if at the time of doing the act or making the omission he is, through any disease affecting his mind, incapable of understanding what he is doing, or of knowing that he ought not to do the act or make the omission.” [25]

The Penal Code’s defense of diminished responsibility for murder may also be applicable to defendants with mental illness. The defense applies to defendants “suffering from such abnormality of mind (whether arising from a condition of arrested or retarded development of mind or any inherent causes or is induced by disease or injury) which has substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his acts or omissions in doing or being party to the killing.” [26] A successful use of this defense will replace a murder conviction with a conviction for manslaughter.

The Prisons Act, moreover, requires that the president be informed if a death-sentenced prisoner is “adjudged to be a mentally disordered or defective person and the sentence of death has not, at the time when he is certified to be of sound mind, been commuted to a term of imprisonment.” [27] While this provision does not prohibit the execution of a prisoner suffering from mental illness at the time the sentence is to be carried out, it contemplates the president exercising his power to grant clemency if a mental disorder develops or is diagnosed after sentencing.

Comments.
Zambia is a party to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [28] which goes beyond the domestic law we found in that it prohibits the execution of nursing mothers. Zambia’s Constitution does not provide that duly ratified treaties automatically become national law. [29] We do not know, therefore, whether this prohibition would be applied in practice.

References

[1] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 201(1), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[2] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 201(1), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[3] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012. Mudenda v. People, Judgment No. 19 of 2002, Supreme Court of Zambia, Sep. 3, 2002. Chongo v. People, Judgment No. 10 of 1998, Supreme Court of Zambia, Apr. 20, 1999.
[4] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2)(a), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[5] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2)(b), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[6] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 43(1), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012. Afrik News, “Zambian Separatists in Treason Charge as Regional Secession Battles Grow,” http://www.afrik-news.com/article18791.html, Jan. 19, 2011.
[7] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[8] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, 4th ed., p. 279, Oxford University Press, 2008. Zambia Penal Code Act, arts. 43(1) & 294(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012. Mudenda v. People, Judgment No. 19 of 2002, Supreme Court of Zambia, Sep. 3, 2002. Chongo v. People, Judgment No. 10 of 1998, Supreme Court of Zambia, Apr. 20, 1999.
[9] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012. Mudenda v. People, Judgment No. 19 of 2002, Supreme Court of Zambia, Sep. 3, 2002. Chongo v. People, Judgment No. 10 of 1998, Supreme Court of Zambia, Apr. 20, 1999.
[10] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012. Mudenda v. People, Judgment No. 19 of 2002, Supreme Court of Zambia, Sep. 3, 2002. Chongo v. People, Judgment No. 10 of 1998, Supreme Court of Zambia, Apr. 20, 1999.
[11] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2)(a), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[12] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2)(b), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[13] Zambia Penal Code Act, , sec. 43(1)(a), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012. Afrik News, “Zambian Separatists in Treason Charge as Regional Secession Battles Grow,” http://www.afrik-news.com/article18791.html, Jan. 19, 2011.
[14] Compare Zambia Penal Code Act, secs. 43, 201, 294, Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Zambia: Missed Opportunity to Join Worldwide Trend Toward Abolition of the Death Penalty, AFR 63/001/2010, Feb. 10, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 48, ACT 50/001/2013, Mar. 27, 2014.
[16] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 25(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[17] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[18] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, Apr. 29, 2014.
[19] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 25(4), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[20] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[21] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[22] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 12A(1), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[23] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 12A(4), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[24] Zambia Prisons Act, sec. 70(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 97, Oct. 31, 1996.
[25] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 12, Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[26] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 12A(1), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[27] Zambia Prisons Act, sec. 70(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 97, Oct. 31, 1996.
[28] List of Countries Which Have Signed, Ratified or Acceded to the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.africa-union.org/root/AU/Documents/Treaties/List/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf, Jul. 22, 2010.
[29] Constitution of Zambia Act, Art. 12(1), Aug. 24, 1991, as amended through to Nov. 22, 2010.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

April 10, 1984. [2]

Signed?

No. [3]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

Yes. [4]

Date of Accession

April 10, 1984. [5]

Signed?

No. [6]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [7]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [8]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Yes. [9]

Date of Accession

January 10, 1984. [10]

Signed?

Yes. [11]

Date of Signature

January 17, 1983. [12]

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Yes. [13]

Date of Accession

May 2, 2006. [14]

Signed?

Yes. [15]

Date of Signature

August 3, 2005. [16]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Yes. [17]

Date of Accession

December 2, 2008. [18]

Signed?

Yes. [19]

Date of Signature

February 28, 1992. [20]

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [21]

Vote

Abstained. [22]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [23]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [24]

Vote

Abstained. [25]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [26]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [27]

Vote

Abstained. [28]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [29]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [30]

Vote

Abstained. [31]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [32]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [33]

Vote

Abstained. [34]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [35]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [36]

Vote

Abstained. [37]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [38]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[8] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[9] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[10] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[11] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[12] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[13] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[14] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[15] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[16] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[17] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, Apr. 29, 2014.
[18] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[19] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[20] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed Apr. 29, 2014.
[21] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[22] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[23] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[24] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[25] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[26] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[27] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[28] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[29] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[30] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[31] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[32] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[33] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[34] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[35] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[36] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[37] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[38] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

Article 12 of the Constitution guarantees the right to life. Subsection one carves out an allowance for capital punishment, stating: “No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally except in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence under the law in force in Zambia of which he has been convicted.” [1]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

The Attorney General is mandated to draft and peruse treaties to which the government is a party. [2] The constitution contains no references to international human rights norms. [3]

Zambia belongs to the dualist tradition, which means that international treaties that are binding under international law are not applicable on a domestic level until they have been implemented by an act of Parliament. [4]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

For several years, Zambia has been steadily heading towards a reduced use of the death penalty. Zambia reduced the scope of offenses punishable by death in the 1990s. [5] An official moratorium has been in place since at least 2002 [6] and there have been no executions since 1997. [7] President Michael Sata commuted 123 death sentences in May and December of 2013, [8] stating that the commutations were part of the celebrations for Africa Freedom Day. [9] On July 16, 2015, President Edgar Lungu, commuted the death sentences of 332 inmates, all held at the Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison in Kabwe, to life imprisonment. [10] As we believe that all death-sentenced inmates are held in this prison, and since previous estimates had accounted for some 227 people on death row, [11] it is possible that there are no more prisoners under sentence of death in Zambia.

Nevertheless, individuals continue to be sentenced to death each year in Zambia, although the number of death sentences has decreased in recent years. There were at least 9 death sentences in 2013 [12] and 7 in 2012, [13] as opposed to 48 death sentences in 2011 [14] and 35 in 2010. [15] At least 13 death sentences were imposed in 2014, all for murder. [16]

There seem to be no immediate prospects for legal abolition of capital punishment. In the last decade, there was a flurry of activity surrounding potential abolition. In 2003, President Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa set in motion the process of drafting a new constitution. The Human Rights Committee created by the National Constitutional Conference was tasked with determining what place, if any, the death penalty should have in the new constitutional order. In February 2010, the Human Rights Committee decided in favor of keeping the death penalty in the new constitution. [17] Despite much debate, the provision condoning the death penalty remains in the final two drafts of the new constitution, dated December 2013 [18] and October 2014. [19] Furthermore, Zambia rejected recommendations that it abolish the death penalty at its last two Universal Periodic Reviews before the UN Human Rights Council. [20]

In 2010, Alex Njamba challenged the mandatory death penalty for aggravated robbery before the Supreme Court of Zambia on the grounds that that his sentence was arbitrary and unconstitutional. [21] The Supreme Court acquitted him in 2012 for lack of evidence and did not reach the issue of the mandatory nature of the death sentence. [22]

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

There may be an official moratorium on executions. Four presidents in a row personally opposed capital punishment and officially adopted moratoria. [23] Former President Dr. Levy Mwanawasa publicly vowed never to sign a death warrant during his tenure, which stretched from 2002 to his death in office in 2008. President Mwanawasa worked during his administration to eliminate the death penalty in Zambia, notably commuting 100 death sentences in 2007. [24] His successor, President Rupiah Banda, has chosen to follow in his footsteps, promising in 2009 to never sign a death warrant during his tenure. [25] Likewise, President Michael Sata, who came into power in September 2011, personally opposed the death penalty and imposed a moratorium. [26] President Edgar Lungu, who took office in January 2015, commuted 332 death sentences in July 2015 [27] - this might represent all current death sentences in Zambia. While we do not know if he has imposed a formal moratorium on executions, it seems unlikely that he will break with his predecessors’ policies on capital punishment.

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

We found two cases confirming the application of the extenuating circumstances doctrine to allow for discretionary sentencing for murder. [28] Under this doctrine, which is also applied in other southern African states, after a capital conviction the burden shifts to the defendant to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the circumstances of the offense (such as youth, intoxication, provocation, etc.) reduced his moral blameworthiness. A finding of extenuating circumstances allows the court to hand down a sentence other than death. [29]

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

There are multiple sources for Zambian judicial decisions:

The full Zambia Law Reports, from independence in 1963 to date, are available online for paying subscribers and may also be consulted at the High Court. [30]

The Judiciary of Zambia publishes recent decisions from the High Court and the Supreme Court at http://www.judiciary.gov.zm.

The Zambia Legal Information Institute publishes selected decisions from the High Court and Supreme Court at http://www.zambialii.org

The Southern African Legal Information Institute maintains a searchable database of Zambian High Court and Supreme Court cases at http://www.saflii.org/content/zambia-index.

What is the clemency process?

If all appeals are dismissed, or after the expiration of the fourteen day period to file an appeal, the judge who has confirmed the sentence will transmit the record of the trial to the President accompanied by a written signed report containing the judge’s recommendations or observations on the case. [31] The President also receives the advice of the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy. The President then makes a decision regarding the case and sentencing. She may choose to issue a death warrant ordering the prisoner executed, an order of commutation, or a pardon. [32] The President communicates her decision to the judge, who enters it in the court records. [33] The death warrant must state the location and date on which the prisoner is to be executed. If the sentence is commuted, the President’s order must state what punishment is to be substituted. If the prisoner is to be pardoned, the pardon states under what conditions, if any. [34] Finally, the order of the President has sufficient authority under the law to be carried out in accordance with the directions given therein. [35]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

No. Juries are not used in Zambia. [36]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

The Criminal Procedure Code contemplates that death penalty cases may be tried by the High Court or subordinate courts created by statute. [37] The High Court has the jurisdiction to supervise criminal proceedings before subordinate courts [38] and must confirm a death sentence issued by a subordinate court. [39] An appeal then lies, pursuant to the Code, directly to “the Court of Appeal.” Other sources, however, indicate that the only and final appellate court in Zambia is the Supreme Court. [40] Upon being sentenced to death, a defendant is informed that he or she may appeal the sentence within fourteen days. [41]

The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction for all legal and constitutional disputes. Any person convicted on a trial by the High Court may appeal to the Supreme Court on any matter of fact as well as on any matter of law. [42] The Supreme Court may not deem an appeal by a death-sentenced individual “frivolous or unsubstantial” and direct it to summary determination. [43]

References

[1] Constitution of Zambia Act, art. 12(1), Aug. 24, 1991, as amended through to Nov. 22, 2010.
[2] Constitution of Zambia Act, art. 54(2)(b), Aug. 24, 1991, as amended through to Nov. 22, 2010.
[3] Constitution of Zambia Act, Aug. 24, 1991, as amended through to Nov. 22, 2010.
[4] Alfred S. Magagula, Update: The Law and Legal Research in Zambia, International Law, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Zambia1.htm#internationallaw, Nov./Dec. 2011.
[5] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, 4th ed., p. 77, Oxford University Press, 2008. Amnesty Intl., Zambia: Missed Opportunity to Join Worldwide Trend Toward Abolition of the Death Penalty, AFR 63/001/2010, Feb. 10, 2010.
[6] Andrew Novak, The Death Penalty and the Right to Life in the Draft Constitutions of Zambia and Zimbabwe, AfricLaw, http://africlaw.com/2013/04/18/the-death-penalty-and-the-right-to-life-in-the-draft-constitutions-of-zambia-and-zimbabwe/, Apr. 18, 2013.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 29, ACT 50/001/2010, Oct. 22. 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Penalty: Countries Abolitionist in Practice, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/countries-abolitionist-in-practice, last accessed Apr. 23, 2014.
[8] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 48, ACT 50/001/2013, Mar. 27, 2014.
[9] Death Penalty News, Zambia President Michael Sata pardons 615 inmates, commutes 113 death sentences to life, http://deathpenaltynews.blogspot.com/2013/05/zambia-president-michael-sata-pardons.html, May 27, 2013. Read more: http://deathpenaltynews.blogspot.com/2013/05/zambia-president-michael-sata-pardons.html#ixzz30HwiDXdP
[10] Michael Chawe, Zambian President spares 332 death row inmates, African Review, http://www.africareview.com/News/Zambian-president-spares-death-row-inmates/-/979180/2792474/-/dokxai/-/index.html, Jul. 17, 2015. Reuters, Zambian president gives death row inmates life sentences, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0PQ18E20150716, Jul. 16, 2015.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 8, ACT 50/001/2013, Mar. 27, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 8, ACT 50/001/2013, Mar. 27, 2014.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, p. 9, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 7, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Background Information – Remove the Death Penalty from Zambia’s Constitution, http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/zambia/background-information---remove-the-death-penalty-from-zambias-draft-constitution/page.do?id=1691040, Feb. 3, 2010.
[18] Lusaka Times, Death Penalty Retained in Draft Constitution, http://lusakavoice.com/2013/02/01/death-penalty-retained-in-draft-constitution/, Jan. 2, 2013.
[19] Draft Zambian Constitution, art. 28, Oct. 2014, as reproduced by Zambian Economist, http://www.zambian-economist.com/2014/10/draft-constitution-of-zambia.html, Oct. 24, 2014. Lusaka Times, Final draft constitution finally released, but no road map presented, http://www.lusakatimes.com/2014/10/23/final-draft-constitution-finally-released-road-map-presented, Oct. 23, 2015.
[20] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Zambia, Addendum: Views on conclusions and/or recommendations, voluntary commitments and replies presented by the State under review, Responses to Recommendations, para. 33, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/13/Add.1, Feb. 26, 2013. U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Responses to Recommendations, p. 3, http://www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/Recommendations_Zambia_2008.pdf, Jun. 2008.
[21] The Death Penalty Project, Zambia, http://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/where-we-operate/africa/zambia/, last accessed Jul. 17, 2015.
[22] Njamba v. The People, Appeal No. 258/2011, [2012] ZMSC 19, Supreme Court for Zambia, Mar. 20, 2012.
[23] Andrew Novak, The Death Penalty and the Right to Life in the Draft Constitutions of Zambia and Zimbabwe, AfricLaw, http://africlaw.com/2013/04/18/the-death-penalty-and-the-right-to-life-in-the-draft-constitutions-of-zambia-and-zimbabwe/, Apr. 18, 2013.
[24] Amnesty Intl., Background Information – Remove the Death Penalty from Zambia’s Constitution, http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/zambia/background-information---remove-the-death-penalty-from-zambias-draft-constitution/page.do?id=1691040, Feb. 3, 2010.
[25] Times of Zambia, Rupiah Vows Never to Sign Any Death Warrant, http://allafrica.com/stories/200904040002.html, Apr. 4, 2009.
[26] Andrew Novak, The Death Penalty and the Right to Life in the Draft Constitutions of Zambia and Zimbabwe, AfricLaw, http://africlaw.com/2013/04/18/the-death-penalty-and-the-right-to-life-in-the-draft-constitutions-of-zambia-and-zimbabwe/, Apr. 18, 2013.
[27] Michael Chawe, Zambian President spares 332 death row inmates, African Review, http://www.africareview.com/News/Zambian-president-spares-death-row-inmates/-/979180/2792474/-/dokxai/-/index.html, Jul. 17, 2015. Reuters, Zambian president gives death row inmates life sentences, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0PQ18E20150716, Jul. 16, 2015.
[28] Mudenda v. People, Judgment No. 19 of 2002, Supreme Court of Zambia, Sep. 3, 2002. Chongo v. People, Judgment No. 10 of 1998, Supreme Court of Zambia, Apr. 20, 1999.
[29] Andrew Novak, The Death Penalty and the Right to Life in the Draft Constitutions of Zambia and Zimbabwe, AfricLaw, http://africlaw.com/2013/04/18/the-death-penalty-and-the-right-to-life-in-the-draft-constitutions-of-zambia-and-zimbabwe/, Apr. 18, 2013.
[30] Alfred S. Magagula, Update: The Law and Legal research in Zambia, Law Reports, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Zambia1.htm, Sep. 2014.
[31] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, sec. 305(2), Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[32] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, sec. 305(4), Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[33] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, sec. 305(3), Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[34] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, sec. 305(4),Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[35] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, sec. 305(5), Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[36] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006. U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Zambia, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/220386.pdf, Feb. 27, 2014.
[37] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, arts. 5, 6, 305(2), Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006. Alfred S. Magagula, Update: The Law and Legal Research in Zambia, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Zambia1.htm#internationallaw, Nov./Dec. 2011.
[38] Alfred S. Magagula, Update: The Law and Legal Research in Zambia, The High Court, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Zambia1.htm#internationallaw, Nov./Dec. 2011.
[39] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, art. 305(2), Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[40] Alfred S. Magagula, Update: The Law and Legal Research in Zambia, The Judicature, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Zambia1.htm#internationallaw, Nov./Dec. 2011.
[41] Zambia Criminal Procedure Code Act, sec. 305 (2), Laws of Zambia Ch. 88, Apr. 1, 1934, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[42] Supreme Court of Zambia (Amendment) Act, sec. 13, Laws of Zambia Ch. 25, Sep. 14, 1973, as amended through to Dec. 10, 2003.
[43] Supreme Court of Zambia (Amendment) Act, sec. 21, Laws of Zambia Ch. 25, Sep. 14, 1973, as amended through to Dec. 10, 2003.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Prisoners sentenced to death are held in Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison near Kabwe, Zambia, approximately 100 km north of Lusaka, the nation’s capital. [1]

Description of Prison Conditions

Prison conditions are life-threatening and reported to be some of the worst in Africa. [2] An extensive 2010 report by Human Rights Watch describes prisons in Zambia as “death traps,” with its overcrowding, malnutrition, rampant infectious disease, grossly inadequate medical care, and routine violence at the hands of prison officers and fellow inmates. [3]

Prison infrastructures are old and overcrowding is extreme, reaching almost 6 times design capacity in Lusaka’s Central Prison in 2009. [4] The total capacity of Zambia’s prisons when they were built prior to independence in 1964 was 5,500 prisoners. They housed 15,300 in 2009. [5] Inmates often have to sleep sitting or standing, pressed up against one another. [6] There is no space to lie down, and one prison guard explained that prisoners are not sleeping, just squatting, so that “instead of resting in the night, they come out tired.” [7] One prisoner described cell conditions as being “arranged like firewood,” inducing repeated suffering every night. [8] Sick and healthy patients are not separated. [9]

Overcrowding is in great part due to the failure of the justice system to process criminal cases and the large number – over a third – of prisoners on remand. [10] Some prisoners report having been detained for 10 years without trial. [11] Moreover, pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners, adults and children are detained together. [12]

Ventilation is so poor that some prisoners reportedly faint at night from the lack of air. [13] Water is unclean, rationed or unavailable and authorities do not provide soap, razors or sanitary pads. [14] Toilets are insufficient and filthy, sometimes consisting only of a hole in the ground or a bucket. What sewage systems exist date from the 1950s and are frequently blocked. In one prison, 10 outdoor toilets are shared by 1,000 inmates. [15] Mattresses and sheets are never washed, and vermin and insects proliferate. [16]

The food provided is so inadequate in quantity and in quality that prisoners suffer continuously from hunger [17] and food brought from the outside by relatives has become “a commodity traded for sex and labor in the prisons.” [18] Malnutrition causes health problems ranging from diarrhea, dental problems and failing eyesight to nutritional deficit disorders that can result in death. [19] There is no separate diet for pregnant or nursing women. [20]

Prison authorities provide inmates with grossly inadequate clothing, which affects both their health and their sense of dignity. Some inmates have no shoes and others have one shoe. Inmates have one set of clothes, and due to usage some inmates wear half a uniform. No warm clothes are available in the winter. [21]

Medical care is insufficient and in some cases non-existent. [22] Only 15 of the Zambia’s 86 prisons have health clinics or sick bays, and many of these have “little capacity beyond distributing paracetamol.” [23] Access to hospital care for serious medical conditions is determined by medically untrained prison officials and hindered by a lack of transfer staff, vehicles and fuel, [24] and can be delayed for days or weeks. [25] Prisoners transported to outside hospitals or clinics are shackled to their beds at all times and face negligence, discrimination and humiliation from medical staff and other patients. [26]

As a result of these conditions, there have been rampant outbreaks of diseases, including cholera, [27] tuberculosis and scabies. [28] Rates of TB infection are not systematically tested but are suspected to be very high. [29] Moreover, in 2011, it was reported that 27% of inmates were living with HIV compared to national rates of 14%. [30] In 2012, two HIV- positive inmates sued the Zambian government for failing to provide adequate care while in prison, including a lack of food and health care. [31] In recent years, prison authorities have responded to the HIV crisis by increasing inmate testing and improving access to anti-retroviral drugs. [32] The prison system’s total ban on condoms increases the risk of HIV transmission in a context where sexual activity between men is said to be common, both consensual relations and trades of sex for food and other basic necessities. [33]

Corporal punishment and other practices prohibited by international law are routine, including “isolation block” detention in which prisoners are stripped naked and left to stand in a windowless cell in ankle-deep water. [34]

Physical abuse is perpetrated by prison officials and fellow inmates. Certain cellmates designed as “cell captains” by guards are invested with disciplinary authority and mete out beatings and punishments. [35] Sexual abuse and rape have been documented, with children detained with adults being particularly vulnerable to being forced into sexual relationships. [36]

Inmates sentenced to death are confined separately from the rest of the population at Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison. [37] A site visit to Mukobeko Prison in 2007 revealed that there were 1,678 prisoners housed there, 296 of whom were on death row. [38] A 2008 interview with a recently exonerated and released death row inmate revealed that 306 death row prisoners were crammed into 48 cells intended for 96 prisoners, with two mattresses to each cell. The death row prisoners were permitted to leave their cells during the day but were confined to an area of about 3 by 30 meters. They had no sanitation or ventilation and improvised toilets using plastic containers. [39]

In 2013, the president granted amnesty to 559 prisoners, reportedly to relieve prison conditions. [40] In July 2015, following a visit to the Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison, President Lungu commuted 332 death sentences and said that it was unacceptable for a prison designed to hold 51 inmates to house hundreds, calling it “ an affront to basic human dignity apart from the health and sanitation challenges that it has created.” [41]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

There was reportedly at least one foreign national on death row [42] prior to the President's commutation of 332 death sentences in July 2015. [43] We do not know if the foreign death row inmate benefited from the mass commutation, but we believe it is possible that there are no prisoners left on death row as of July 2015.

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

There was reportedly at least one Congolese man on death row [44] prior to the President's commutation of 332 death sentences in July 2015. [45] We do not know if the foreign death row inmate benefited from the mass commutation, but we believe it is possible that there are no prisoners left on death row as of July 2015.

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

In August 2013, one woman was sentenced to death for murdering her husband’s mistress. [46] We do not know if she has appealed her sentence or if she was one of the prisoners who benefitted from the presidential pardon of December 2013 [47] or July 2015, [48] but we believe it is possible that there are no prisoners left on death row as of July 2015.

A 2007 report indicated that “there were 7 children with their inmate mothers” in Mukobeko Prison, but it was unclear whether the report meant that any of these women were held on death row. [49]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

Zambian law prohibits sentencing to death individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time was committed. [50] There have been no reports that this law is not enforced. Amnesty International reports no known executions of juveniles since 1990, when it first started keeping records. [51]

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

We found no information on the ethnic or racial composition of death row.

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Public defenders are provided for indigent defendants when the court determines that he or she is not financially able to hire representation for him or herself, and that the interests of justice require representation. [52] Public defenders are overwhelmed and reportedly some defendants – not necessarily those facing capital punishment – are unrepresented. [53]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

The law provides for public funding of legal representation on appeal. [54] Public defenders are generally overwhelmed and reportedly some defendants – not necessarily those facing capital punishment – are unrepresented at trial. [55] We do not know whether public defenders are also overwhelmed at the appellate level.

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

While public defenders are ostensibly available both at the trial level and on appeal, public defenders often struggle under the weight of a heavy caseload, which undoubtedly impairs the quality of legal representation they are able to provide. [56] The Legal Aid Board reportedly has difficulty finding and retaining lawyers because of the poor working conditions, and this has resulted in indigent persons being denied legal aid, especially in rural areas. The small number of cases covered by the Legal Aid Board, however, reportedly include serious criminal trials before the High Court. [57]

Across the board, 64% of Zambian prisoners interviewed in 2009 had never been represented by a lawyer, a number which rises to 73% for juveniles under the age of 18 and 76% for women. [58]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

There is evidence that in at least one capital case the Zambian government manipulated a death sentence after its imposition without formal judicial review, or that grave administrative errors have occurred. In 2005, the United Nations Human Rights Committee found that a prisoner had been transferred off and then back on to death row, keeping him in the dark as to the status of his appeal and then preventing him from meeting the requirements of an amnesty of commutation issued by the President. In engaging in this deception, Zambia was found to be in violation of Art. 6, par. 4 and Art. 2 of the ICCPR. [59]

The Zambian criminal justice system struggles with a great deal of congestion, leading to lengthy delays throughout the trial and appeals process and consequently long periods of pre-trial detention. Although the Zambian government has introduced a parole system for early release of prisoners with lesser sentences or good behavior, detentions and prisons continue to be overcrowded. [60] Members of the judiciary are not well-compensated, and, as a consequence, there is a high rate of attrition and a subsequent “institutional memory loss.”

Zambian police is reported to use cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment on criminal suspects. [61]

The government and various executive bodies have been accused of interfering with the work of the Task Force on Corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission. [62]

There are a number of problems related to the disparity between the organization and methods employed by locals courts and those employed be federal courts. Local courts have jurisdiction in all customary law matters and are apt to use uncodified law in a manner that varies widely between regions. [63] Furthermore, local courts are generally considered to be more punitive and less likely to respect international human rights conventions. [64]

References

[1] Deutsche Welle, Zambia's overcrowded prisons are among the worst in Africa, http://www.dw.de/zambias-overcrowded-prisons-are-among-the-worst-in-africa/a-15913863, Apr. 27, 2012. Save a Life – Foreign Prison Service, Prisoners in Zambia, http://www.foreignprisoners.com/pris-zambia.html, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[2] Deutsche Welle, Zambia's overcrowded prisons are among the worst in Africa, http://www.dw.de/zambias-overcrowded-prisons-are-among-the-worst-in-africa/a-15913863, Apr. 27, 2012.
[3] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 4, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[4] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 2, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[5] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 4, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[6] David Smith, Two HIV-positive men take on Zambia government over prison conditions, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/dec/06/hiv-positive-zambia-government-prison-conditions, Dec. 6, 2012.
[7] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 30, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[8] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 31, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[9] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 32, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[10] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy, HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy, Apr. 27, 2010.
[11] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 7, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy, Apr. 27, 2010.
[12] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 6, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy, Apr. 27, 2010.
[13] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 32, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[14] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, pp. 5, 41, 42, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[15] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 39, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[16] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 43, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[17] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, pp. 33-35, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[18] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 5, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[19] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 36, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[20] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 37, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[21] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, pp. 43-44, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[22] David Smith, Two HIV-positive men take on Zambia government over prison conditions, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/dec/06/hiv-positive-zambia-government-prison-conditions, Dec. 6, 2012.
[23] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 5, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy, Apr. 27, 2010.
[24] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 5, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy, Apr. 27, 2010.
[25] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 69, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[26] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 72, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[27] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 42, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[28] Deutsche Welle, Zambia's overcrowded prisons are among the worst in Africa, http://www.dw.de/zambias-overcrowded-prisons-are-among-the-worst-in-africa/a-15913863, Apr. 27, 2012.
[29] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 5, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[30] Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, Submission to the Universal Periodic of Review, p. 24, http://www.upr-info.org/sites/default/files/document/zambia/session_14_-_october_2012/chruprzmbs142012centreforhumanrightse.pdf, Apr. 23, 2012.
[31] David Smith, Two HIV-positive men take on Zambia government over prison conditions, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/dec/06/hiv-positive-zambia-government-prison-conditions, Dec. 6, 2012.
[32] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, pp. 5-6, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy, Apr. 27, 2010.
[33] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 6, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy, Apr. 27, 2010.
[34] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 4, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[35] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 3, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[36] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, pp. 44-47, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[37] Cathal Gilbert, On Africa’s Death Row: Hidden Consequences of Colonial Past, International Business Times, http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/death-penalty-hidden-consequences-africa-blog-393642, Oct. 12, 2012.
[38] Judith Malenga et al., Human Rights Violations In Zambia, World Organisation Against Torture, p. 7, Jun. 26, 2007.
[39] Newton Sibanda, Inmates Plead for Deliverance, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42436, May 20, 2008.
[40] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Zambia, Arrest Procedures and Treatment While in Detention, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/220386.pdf, Feb. 27, 2014.
[41] Reuters, Zambian president gives death row inmates life sentences, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0PQ18E20150716, Jul. 16, 2015.
[42] Foreign Prisoner Support Service, Prisoners in Zambia, http://www.foreignprisoners.com/pris-zambia.html, last accessed Apr. 2014.
[43] Michael Chawe, Zambian President spares 332 death row inmates, African Review, http://www.africareview.com/News/Zambian-president-spares-death-row-inmates/-/979180/2792474/-/dokxai/-/index.html, Jul. 17, 2015. Reuters, Zambian president gives death row inmates life sentences, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0PQ18E20150716, Jul. 16, 2015.
[44] Foreign Prisoner Support Service, Prisoners in Zambia, http://www.foreignprisoners.com/pris-zambia.html, last accessed Apr. 2014.
[45] Michael Chawe, Zambian President spares 332 death row inmates, African Review, http://www.africareview.com/News/Zambian-president-spares-death-row-inmates/-/979180/2792474/-/dokxai/-/index.html, Jul. 17, 2015. Reuters, Zambian president gives death row inmates life sentences, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0PQ18E20150716, Jul. 16, 2015.
[46] Zambia Reports, Lusaka Business Sentenced to Death for Murder, http://zambiareports.com/2013/08/23/lusaka-business-woman-sentenced-to-death-for-murder/, Aug. 23, 2013.
[47] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 48, ACT 50/001/2013, Mar. 27, 2014.
[48] Michael Chawe, Zambian President spares 332 death row inmates, African Review, http://www.africareview.com/News/Zambian-president-spares-death-row-inmates/-/979180/2792474/-/dokxai/-/index.html, Jul. 17, 2015. Reuters, Zambian president gives death row inmates life sentences, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0PQ18E20150716, Jul. 16, 2015.
[49] Judith Malenga et al., Human Rights Violations In Zambia, World Organisation Against Torture, p. 7, Jun. 26, 2007.
[50] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 25(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[51] Amnesty Intl., Executions of juveniles since 1990, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/executions-of-child-offenders-since-1990, last accessed May 8, 2014.
[52] Zambia Legal Aid Act, sec 8(1), Laws of Zambia Ch. 34, Jul. 3, 1967, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[53] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Zambia, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/220386.pdf, Feb. 27, 2014.
[54] Zambia Legal Aid Act, sec 14A, Laws of Zambia Ch. 34, Jul. 3, 1967, as updated to Dec. 2006.
[55] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Zambia, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/220386.pdf, Feb. 27, 2014.
[56] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Zambia, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/220386.pdf, Feb. 27, 2014.
[57] Alfred S. Magagula, Update: The Law and Legal Research in Zambia, The Legal Aid Board, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Zambia1.htm#thelegalaidboard, Nov./Dec. 2011.
[58] Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, p. 2, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.
[59] U.N. CCPR, U.N. Human Rights Committee, Communication No. 1132/2002 U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/85/D/1132/2002, November 18, 2005.
[60] Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, Submission to the Universal Periodic of Review, p. 6, http://www.upr-info.org/sites/default/files/document/zambia/session_14_-_october_2012/chruprzmbs142012centreforhumanrightse.pdf, Apr. 23, 2012.
[61] Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, Submission to the Universal Periodic of Review, p. 7, http://www.upr-info.org/sites/default/files/document/zambia/session_14_-_october_2012/chruprzmbs142012centreforhumanrightse.pdf, Apr. 23, 2012.
[62] Dr. Annie Barbara Chikwanha, Zambia – Crime and Criminal Justice, p.4, African Review, http://www.africanreview.org/docs/zambia/zambiaissue07.pdf, 2007.
[63] Joyce Shezongo-Macmillan, Zambia: Justice Sector and Rule of Law, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa,p. 33, http://www.osisa.org/sites/default/files/afrimap_zambia_justice_main_report_web_5july.pdf, Mar. 2013.
[64] Dr. Annie Barbara Chikwanha, Zambia – Crime and Criminal Justice, African Review, http://www.africanreview.org/docs/zambia/zambiaissue07.pdf, 2007.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

In its last Concluding Observations for Zambia in 2007, the Human Rights Committee commended the country for the de facto moratorium on executions that had been in place since 1997 but expressed concern about number of individuals who remained on death row. It also noted that the mandatory imposition of the death penalty for aggravated robbery is a violation of Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The committee urged public discussion regarding the death penalty to continue, and encouraged the dissemination of information on the subject. [1]

The decision of the Human Rights Committee in Lubuto v. Zambia [2] comes up frequently in discussions of the death penalty in Zambia. Bernard Lubuto was sentenced to death in August 1983 for aggravated robbery. [3] He appealed his sentence to the Supreme Court of Zambia, which dismissed his appeal in February 1988. [4] The defendant then appealed to the Human Rights Committee, claiming that he was tortured in order to force a confession, was denied adequate representation and a speedy trial, and was sentenced to death for an offense that did not meet the definition of a “most serious crime” under Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Zambia denied that the defendant was tortured. The Committee concluded that Zambia had violated article 6(2)’s limitation of the death penalty to the most serious offenses and article 14(3)(c)’s right to a speedy trial, and concluded that Lubuto was entitled to a commutation of his sentence. There was insufficient evidence for the Committee to make a finding of torture. [5]

In 2005, the Human Rights Committee considered the case of Webby Chisanga, who was also sentenced to death for an aggravated robbery during which he shot but did not kill a victim. The Committee again found that this sentence violated the “most serious crimes” standard contained in art. 6, a violation further compounded by the fact that aggravated robbery committed with a firearm triggers a mandatory death sentence. The Committee also found that Zambia had violated the applicant’s right to an effective remedy in relation to his right to appeal (art. 14) when he was informed that his death sentence had been commuted and was moved off death row, only to learn two years later, without any explanation, that his death sentence had in fact been upheld. He was returned to death row after 2 years in the long-term section. The Committee found that the uncertainty and distress caused by the state’s acts constituted cruel and inhuman treatment in violation of art. 7. Furthermore, after the complainant had spent 11 years in prison, the president issued a blanket commutation to all prisoners who had spent over 10 years on death row; the applicant was considered ineligible for the pardon because he had spent 2 years off death row. The Committee determined that this deprived him of an effective remedy in relation to his right to seek amnesty, a further violation of art. 6. [6]

In 2010, the Human Rights Committee heard Mwamba v. Zambia on the issues of the scope of the death penalty, the applicant’s conditions of detention, his right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and his right to review without delay. [7] The defendant was given the mandatory death penalty for a killing during a robbery. The Committee found that the defendant was detained secretly, shackled, deprived of food and water, and incarcerated in a small, filthy cell, where he was still held 8 years after trial, while waiting for the appeal of his unrecorded trial to be heard. The Committee also found that police officers made numerous pre-trial statements to the media asserting the defendant’s guilt. The Committee concluded that Zambia had violated article 6’s limitation on the scope of the death penalty and protection against arbitrariness, article 10’s protection against detention under inhuman conditions, article 14’s right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, right to a speedy and fair trial and adequate appellate review, and article 7’s protection against inhuman treatment. [8] The defendant was acquitted of armed robbery, but was convicted of murder and attempted murder. [9] (We note that when the defendant was acquitted of armed robbery, the mandatory death penalty should no longer have been in play. [10] ) The Committee concluded that Zambia was required to provide a remedy to the defendant within 180 days. [11] As of the end of our research, no information could be found regarding the conclusion of this case.

In 2012, the Human Rights Committee considered the case of Kamoyo v. Zambia. The applicant was sentenced to death for murder in 1995. Within a month, he filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. Thirteen years later, his appeal had not been heard and his case file had been lost. By the time his case reached the Committee, he had been on death row for 17 years. The Committee found that the state had been negligent in losing his file and had violated his right to a fair trial (art. 14), his right to be free of cruel and inhuman treatment (art. 7), and his right to life (art. 6). [12]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

Zambia’s last review by the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review occurred in October 2012. [13] The United Kingdom, Australia, and Cape Verde expressed concern for the continued existence of the death penalty. [14] A number of countries recommended that Zambia abolish the death penalty and ratify the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [15] The government did not accept these recommendations, noting that the majority of Zambians are in favor of retaining the death penalty. [16]

Zambia’s human rights record was also reviewed by the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review in 2008. [17] Zambia rejected the recommendation to take steps to transform the de facto moratorium on capital punishment to a de jure moratorium. [18]

The Committee Against Torture last reviewed Zambia’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture in 2008. It expressed concern that the detention conditions suffered by prisoners on death row were so poor as to approach cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. In particular, the Committee criticized overcrowding and the amount of time spent on death row. [19] The Committee concluded by recommending that Zambia adopt procedural reforms restricting the application of the death penalty and increasing access to pardons. [20] It further recommended that legislation allow for commutation of death sentences where its implementation has been delayed. [21]

References

[1] U.N. CCPR, Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations: Zambia, sec. 17, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/ZMB/CO/3/CRP.1, July 23, 2007.
[2] Bernard Lubuto v. Zambia, Communication No. 390/1990, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/55/D/390/1990, 1995.
[3] Bernard Lubuto v. Zambia, sec. 2.1, Communication No. 390/1990, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/55/D/390/1990, 1995.
[4] Bernard Lubuto v. Zambia, sec. 2.1, Communication No. 390/1990, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/55/D/390/1990, 1995.
[5] Bernard Lubuto v. Zambia, Communication No. 390/1990, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/55/D/390/1990, Nov. 3, 1995.
[6] Webby Chisanga v. Zambia, Communication No. 1132/2002, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/85/D/1132/2002, Nov. 18, 2005.
[7] Munguwambuto Kabwe Peter Mwamba v. Zambia, para. 5.5, Communication No. 1520/2006, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/98/D/1520/2006, Apr. 30, 2010.
[8] Munguwambuto Kabwe Peter Mwamba v. Zambia, para. 5.5, Communication No. 1520/2006, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/98/D/1520/2006, Apr. 30, 2010.
[9] Munguwambuto Kabwe Peter Mwamba v. Zambia, para. 5.5, Communication No. 1520/2006, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/98/D/1520/2006, Apr. 30, 2010..
[10] Zambia Penal Code Act, sec. 294(2), Laws of Zambia 2006 Ch. 87, Nov. 1, 1931, as last amended by Penal Code (Amendment) Act, Act No. 1 of 2012, Apr. 12, 2012.
[11] Munguwambuto Kabwe Peter Mwamba v. Zambia, para. 9, Communication No. 1520/2006, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/98/D/1520/2006, Apr. 30, 2010.
[12] William Kamoyo v. Zambia, Communication No. 1859/2009, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/104/D/1859/2009, Apr. 26, 2012.
[13] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Zambia, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/13, Dec. 31, 2012
[14] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Zambia, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/13, Dec. 31, 2012
[15] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Zambia, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/13, Dec. 31, 2012
[16] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Zambia, Addendum: Views on conclusions and/or recommendations, voluntary commitments and replies presented by the State under review, Responses to Recommendations, para. 33, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/13/Add.1, Feb. 26, 2013.
[17] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Zambia, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/2/ZMB/, Apr. 9, 2008.
[18] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Responses to Recommendations, p. 3, http://www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/Recommendations_Zambia_2008.pdf, Jun. 2008.
[19] U.N. Convention Against Torture, Committee Against Torture, Concluding Observations: Zambia, para. 19, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/ZMB/CO/2, May 26, 2008.
[20] U.N. Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties Under Article 19 of the Convention: Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture – Zambia, , sec. 19, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/ZMB/CO/2, May 26, 2008.
[21] U.N. Committee Against Torture, CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE CONVENTION: Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture – ZAMBIA, sec. 19, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/ZMB/CO/2, May 26, 2008.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

None.

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

Prison Fellowship Zambia
P.O. Box 240070,
Ndola, Copperbelt, Zambia
Tel: +(260 2) 612 495
Fax: +(260 2) 621 743
prisonf@coppernet.zm
http://www.pfi.org/national-ministries/africa/zambia

Zambia Permanent Human Rights Commission
Mr. Mumba Malila, Chairperson
P.O. Box 33812, Independence Avenue,
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: +260 1 251 327
Fax: +260 1 251 342
phrc@zamnet.zm

Human Rights Commission
Human Rights House
Independence Avenue
P.O. Box 33812
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: +260 1 251 327/57
Fax: +260 1 251 342
hrc@zamnet.zm
http://www.hrc.org.zm

Helpful Reports and Publications

Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, Submission to the Universal Periodic of Review, http://www.upr-info.org/sites/default/files/document/zambia/session_14_-_october_2012/chruprzmbs142012centreforhumanrightse.pdf, Apr. 23, 2012.

Human Rights Watch, Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/27/unjust-and-unhealthy-0, Apr. 27, 2010.

Judith Malenga et al., Human Rights Violations In Zambia, World Organization Against Torture, Jun. 26, 2007.

Joyce Shezongo-Macmillan, Zambia: Justice Sector and Rule of Law, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, http://www.osisa.org/sites/default/files/afrimap_zambia_justice_main_report_web_5july.pdf, Mar. 2013.

Southern African Centre for the Constrictive Resolution of Disputes, Hope for Human Rights, Anti-voter Apathy Project, Transparency International Zambia, Prison Care and Counseling Association, Zambia Media Women Association, Joint Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Zambia, http://www.upr-info.org/sites/default/files/document/zambia/session_14_-_october_2012/js2uprzmbs142012jointsubmission2e.pdf, 2012.

Additional notes regarding this country

Zambia expects to adopt a new constitution; the technical committee completed a draft of the new constitution in December 2013. [1] Despite much debate, however, the provision condoning the death penalty remains in the draft currently circulating. [2] As of July 2015, the text of the constitution had not yet been finalized. [3]

References

[1] Dimpho Motsamai, Zambia’s Opposition Pushes Govt to Release Draft Constitution, Mail & Guardian, http://mg.co.za/article/2014-03-14-zambias-opposition-pushes-govt-to-release-draft-constitution, Mar. 14, 2014.
[2] Lusaka Times, Death Penalty Retained in Draft Constitution, http://lusakavoice.com/2013/02/01/death-penalty-retained-in-draft-constitution/, Jan. 2, 2013.
[3] Peter Adamu, Sangwa doubts constitution process, http://zambiareports.com/2015/07/20/sangwa-doubts-constitution-process, Jul. 20, 2015.

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