Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison
|Managed by||Zambia Prison Service|
When a judge in a high court pronounces a death sentence, convicts are sent to Mukobeko. The prisoners are executed by hanging in an event that a President signs their death warrants. During their tenures, President Levy Mwanawasa, Rupiah Banda and Michael Sata did not sign any death warrants.
Zambian presidents who came after Kenneth Kaunda had refused to sign death sentences for prisoners, leading to overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions. Human rights activists say the congestion was caused by the slow dispensation of justice.
In March 2013, 600 prisoners were transferred to the new facility at Mwembeshi Maximum Prison under heavy and tight security by the Zambia Police Service, Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and the Zambia Prison Service. This was in a bid decongest the prison and to improve the welfare of those incarcerated.
On January 24, 1997, 8 prisoners were executed on the same day that President Frederick Chiluba pardoned 600 inmates. Seven of the prisoners had been convicted of murder, and the eighth had been convicted of murder and armed robbery.
The male condemned section of the prison was built to accommodate a maximum of 48 inmates but over the years, the number has swelled to 332.
Pardon of prisoners
During a visit of the prison on 16 July 2015, President Edgar Lungu commuted death sentences of all 332 inmates to life imprisonment. The president also officially opened the new Central Mechanical Workshop at Mukobeko to help in the servicing of Zambia Prisons Service vehicles and those for the Ministry of Home Affairs.
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- Death Penalty Database, 20 July 2015
- From deathrow to life: 322 prisoners saved from noose Zambia Daily Mail, 2 August 2015
- Zambian president spares 332 death row inmates Africa Review, 17 July 2015
- 600 prisoners from Mukobeko Prison moved to Mwembeshi Maximum prison LusakaTimes, 10 March 2013
- Human Rights in Zambia since the 1996 elections, Ch. V The Death Penalty, Human Rights Watch, 1 July 1997
- Lungu opens Mukobeko workshop, ZNBC, 16 July 2015