GOVERNMENT of the Republic of Zambia is confident that Malawi will soon abolish the death sentence.
Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary Bwalya Kaela Mwenya is hopeful that Malawi will become the 27th country in Africa to do away with the death sentence.
Ms Mwenya was speaking today when a delegation from Malawi that is in the country on an exchange visit to benchmark the abolition of death penalty paid a courtesy call on Zambia Correctional Service Commissioner General Mr Frederick S .S Chilukutu at Service headquarters in Kabwe.
The exchange visit has provided an opportunity for the delegation from Malawi to learn from Zambia in it’s route to abolish the death penalty in December 2022.
“The purpose of the visit is to learn from Zambia and to see how we implemented the death penalty. What were the pitfalls? What were some of the positives,” she said.
The Permanent secretary commended the Zambia Correctional Service for it’s commitment to improve the welfare of inmates.
And Mr Chilukutu thanked the delegation for paying a courtesy on his office.
The Service Chief told the delegation that Government is implementing various policies which are aimed at bettering the lives of inamtes.
He said inmates are treated with dignity and respect.
Mr Chilukutu said Government is currently building Correctional Facilities countrywide, a move which is aimed at decongesting Correctional Centres.
He said the Service is empowering inmates with income generating skills.
“We have farms, in fact almost every Correctional Centre has a farm, we have industries and other capital projects that inmates are exposed to. They are learning skills so that when they are discharged from prison, the are self reliant,” he said.
He said a lot of former inmates have formed cooperative in various districts in the country.
“We fund them and we regularly visit them to see how they are doing so that they don’t return to Prison,” the Service Chief said.
The Commissioner General also announced that 18 Malawian inmates from Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility will soon be transfered to their country so that they can serve their sentences in Malawi.
Meanwhile the delegation from Malawi that included Members of Parliament has vowed to work hard to abolish the death penalty.
Hon. Dr Albert Mbawala, MP who is chairman of legal affairs from the National Assembly of Malawi said the delegation is impressed with what they have learnt in Zambia.
The Malawian delegation toured Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility and met Malawian citizens who are incarcerated at the centre.
“We are ashamed that we have not moved fast to abolish the death penalty. Zambia has moved fast to implement polices that have transformed the Zambia Correctional Service,” he said.
Dr Mbawala said death penalty is barbaric and archaic and that it should be done away with.
He also thanked Government for the warm reception accorded go his team.
Despite, the fact that Malawi has not abolished the death sentence, the country’s last executions were carried out in 1992, under Malawi’s former President Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Credit: Zambia Correctional Service