ZAMBIA, Lusaka – Zambia on Saturday finally abolished two British colonial-era laws: the death penalty and criticising the country’s leader is a punishable offence.
The South African country gained independence in 1964. Since then rules made during colonisation were followed.
The decision comes during the presidency of Hakainde Hichilema, whose party promised to abolish these rules if they are elected, AFP reported.
The party had been trying to abolish these rules for so long but was in opposition for two decades, but now the decision has been made.
A presidential spokesperson said, “President Hakainde Hichilema has assented to the penal code of 2022 abolishing the imposition of the death penalty and the offence of criminal defamation of the president, which has been on the Zambian statute books since (the) pre-independence era.”
The Zambian rights activists claimed that the decision is a “huge milestone” to remove those colonial laws that don’t fit in with democracy.
Caroline Katotobwe, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue said that finally now Zambians will be able to speak freely.
She said, “As stakeholders we are elated that this repressive law is finally done away with. Thus, allowing citizens to freely express their views without fear of prosecution as was the case in the past.”