Retain death penalty as a deterrent to those wishing to commit murder- Mweetwa

Choma Central Member of Parliament Cornelius Mweetwa has said murder cases in the country will greatly be minimize if Zambia upholds the death sentence in its new constitution which is being drafted by a technical committee.

Mr. Mweetwa noted that ritual killings in Zambia have steadily increased hence the need to retain the death sentence in the constitution so that murderers could also subject to death.

He said this would deter would be offenders in future.

He however noted that despite having this law in the current constitution, the successive two past Presidents have not used it.

He stated that those that have fears that people will be killed using the law should not worry as it was only required in the document to deter would be murderers.

The National Constitution Convention, which is currently sitting in Lusaka, is this Wednesday set to vote whether to retain the article on death penalty in the new constitution or abolish it.

The election follows the failure by delegates at the ongoing national convention to reach a consensus on the matter.

Mr. Mweetwa has since appealed to delegates at the ongoing National Constitution Convention in Lusaka to vote for the retention of the clause in the constitution so that it acts as a deterrent to people who have intentions of committing murder.

The death sentence is in clause (3) of article 28 of the first draft constitution.

According to the provincial resolutions, nine out of 10 provinces recommended that the article be upheld.

Delegates at the national constitution convention yesterday failed to reach a consensus after a long emotional debate which left the house divided into two factions.

The first vote by acclamation could not produce the winner which led to the chairperson of the convention Professor Muyunda Mwanalushi to call for a secret ballot voting.

The secret ballot voting will be done on Wednesday after considering all group resolutions.

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