LUSAKA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu has removed 246 inmates who were on death row and commuted their sentences to life sentences, a government official said on Wednesday.
Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said among the inmates includes 225 males and 21 females.
He announced the commuting of the sentences during an event held at Mukobeko Maximum Prison in central Zambia's Kabwe town which was streamed live on Facebook.
He said this brings the clemency of death to life sentences to over 500 after 332 inmates had their sentences commuted in 2015.
He said the commutation of sentences of inmates will help to congest the section of condemned inmates at the prison which was meant for 50 people but now has over 400 inmates.
The move, he said, was also meant to protect inmates from contracting COVID-19.
Despite the death penalty being on the country's statutes, Zambia has not carried any execution since 1997. Enditem