LUSAKA, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has commuted death sentences for 390 inmates to life imprisonment, a senior government official said Wednesday.
The inmates include 379 males and 11 females.
Jack Mwiimbu, the minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, said the move follows the abolishment of the death penalty in December last year and is in line with Article 97 in the country's constitution.
Mwiimbu told reporters during a press briefing that no court was expected to impose the death penalty following its abolishment.
He, however, said inmates who had been slapped with the death penalty before its abolishment were still amenable to presidential pardon because the law was never applied retrospectively.
Hichilema announced last year that he decided to abolish the death penalty in line with his campaign promises to amend laws that inhibit the growth of democracy, good governance and human rights.
Although Zambia has had the death penalty law, no executions have taken place since 1997. ■