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ZAMBIA

Judicial CP - December 1998



Africa News Service, 15 December 1998

Lawyers seek abolition of corporal punishment

Lusaka (Times of Zambia, December 15, 1998) - The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has applied to the High Court seeking the abolition of corporal punishment.

The application has been made by way of an appeal involving John Banda who was sentenced to 10 strokes of the cane last October after being convicted of an offence of malicious damage to property.

LAZ human rights committee chairman Henry Chanda said in an affidavit that the sentence of strokes of the cane particularly the 10 imposed on Banda by a magistrate court was too brutal, inhuman and barbaric.

"This brutality and barbarism is affirmed by section 27 (5) (d) of the Penal Code Act which mandatorily requires a medical doctor to supervise the affliction of the corporal punishment for the purpose of saving life of the victim," reads the grounds of appeal in part.

Mr Chanda is appealing to the court to declare the sentence null and void on the ground of unconstitutionality. The sentence conflicts the constitutional right of the appellant against torture, inhuman and degrading punishment enshrined under article 15. The LAZ wants the court to declare all statutory provisions relating to corporal punishment illegal. Mr Chanda in the grounds contends that the punishment of caning suspects is given discriminately to the under privileged people especially those from shanty townships.

"Affluent members of our society who commit similar or even more heinous crimes are never subjected to corporal punishment. The court should take judicial notice of the fact that the provisions of the penal code on corporal punishment were passed before the 1964 independence constitution which contained the Bill of Rights. Before this Bill of Rights corporal punishment was lawful and the question of unconstitutionality did not raise at that time," the affidavit states.

by Times Reporter

Copyright 1998 Africa News Service (via Comtex). All rights reserved



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