By Prudence Siabana
President Hakainde Hichilema has exercised his prerogative of mercy by commuting sentences for 390 inmates from death row to life imprisonment.
This is pursuant to article 97 of the constitution of Zambia which provides for presidential pardon and substitution of severe punishments imposed on convicted persons.
Announcing the development in Lusaka this morning, Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu says this is in line with the UPND administration`s commitment to uphold human rights and preservation of life.
Mr Mwiimbu further says government is committed to enhancing the criminal justice system by bringing on board all stakeholders including the Judiciary so the cases are disposed off in good time and without delay.
He is however hopeful that the Judiciary will start exploring other alternative sentencing mechanism for minor cases as this will also go a long way in addressing congestion in the correctional facilities.
In December last year, President Hichilema assented into law the amended penal code which abolished the imposition of death penalty.