Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison

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Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison
Mukobeko Prison in Kabwe.jpg
LocationKabwe
StatusOperational
Opened1978
Managed byZambia Prison Service
CountryZambia

Mukobeko Prison (or Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison, Mukobeko State Prison) is a maximum security prison in Kabwe where prisoners sentenced to death are held.[1] The prison was built in 1978.

Executions

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.[2]

Living conditions

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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[6]

References