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Guest Diggers take death penalty debate to the airBy Thomas Mulenga on 12 May 2017
Should the death penalty be abolished in Zambia? What’s your take?
Two News Diggers columnists David Wightman and Michael Chishala battled each other, arguing for and against the idea, through some well-researched articles.
After receiving mixed reactions from you the readers, the two Guest Diggers found each other and agreed to take the debate on UNZA Radio where they allowed callers to contribute.
As anchor of the Lusaka Star Programme and News Diggers correspondent, I hosted the two guests with my colleague Faith, for 1 hour 30 minutes and they did not leave the Bible unturned.
Take a listen:
Wightman argued that on moral grounds, it was a contradiction for the State to continue killing people through the death penalty in a Christian nation.
“Killing somebody who has killed another person because we feel they have no right to live, is highly problematic especially if you want to call yourself a Christian Nation.”
Chishala argued that people who break the laws should be punished for breaking the laws.
“We need laws so that human beings can live at peace with each other. You can’t have life liberty or pursuit of happiness if you don’t have laws that says ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that’ but it’s not sufficient to have laws only you need to have a system that implements the laws.
He further opined that the president should not be the one to sign the death penalty execution warranty, but rather that it should be left in the hands of the justice system. Chishala ended with an emphasis that the death penalty should be maintained.
And callers who participated on the program expressed divergent views with some stating that death penalty should be maintained regardless of Zambia being a Christian nation, so that those who commit serious crimes can receive a punishment equivalent to their crimes.
Others agreed with Wightman that it was immoral for a country which calls itself a Christian nation to continue killing people using the death penalty and hence contradicting the teachings of Christianity and forgiveness.
Take a listen:
About Thomas Mulenga
Thomas Mulenga is a third year Media Studies student at the University of Zambia. He is also a presenter for UNZA Radio's Lusaka Star programme which focuses on politics and current affairs.
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