LUSAKA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government has voted in the affirmative on the maintenance of a moratorium oo the death penalty at the United Nations (UN), a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Minister of Justice Given Lubinda said President Edgar Lungu directed the country's embassy in the United States (US) to vote in the affirmative after having abstained from voting on the moratorium for years.
The Zambian minister, in remarks delivered ahead of a conference on the 10th anniversary of the campaign against the death penalty in Rome, said the decision to vote in the affirmative was made in 2016 but has just been actualized, according to a press release.
According to him, despite the death penalty still being upheld in the country's constitution, no Zambian leader has signed it since 1998 when late President Frederick Chiluba appended the execution of a prisoner.
The decision not to sign death penalties has earned Zambia the reputation as an abolitionist in implementing the death penalty, he added.
However, he said unlike other laws that could easily be amended, the death penalty was part of the bill of rights that could only be amended through a referendum.
Lubinda said incumbent President Lungu has commuted more death penalties to life imprisonment than any other leader in the country.