TWO BILLS PASS SECOND READING

THE criminal procedure Code Amendment Bill Number 24 of 2022 and Penal Code Amendment Bill Number 25 of 2022 have passed the second reading stage in parliament.

The two Bills intended to facilitate for the abolishment of the death penalty and repeal the defamation of the President Law, among other amendments.

The Bill proposed to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment and repeal the defamation of the President clause.

And presenting the report of the Committee on legal affairs, governance, human rights, gender matters and child affairs on the two bills to the house yesterday, deputy committee chairperson Chinga Miyutu said the stakeholders that made submissions supported the amendments.

Mr. Miyutu who is also Kalabo Central Member of Parliament (MP) said media bodies were of the view that that the defamation of the president law had no place in a democratic dispensation such as Zambia as it obligated Press freedom of expression.

He said civil rights activists were of the view that the death penalty should not be administered as a form of capital punishment on any offender.

In adding debate on the motion, Justice Minister Mulambo Haimbe said the two laws were archaic and needed fine turning for the country to live up to the modern governance practices.

Mr. Haimbe said the country had not undertaken any life execution under the death penalty for the past 25 years, rendering the law extraneous.

When speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti put the two bills to a vote, the house voted in the affirmation and the speaker advanced the proposed legislation to a committee stage which the house expects to consider today.

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