Zambia’s president Hakainde Hichilema announced on Friday Dec. 23 that the country has abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
According to Amnesty International, this makes Zambia the 25th African country to end capital punishment, which is largely a legacy of colonial legal codes in Africa.
Zambia has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1997, and Hichilema had pledged in May to end practice.
The death penalty will now be replaced by life imprisonment.
Hichilema also abolished a law that criminalized defamation of the president, a law that had up until recently been used to limit freedom of speech and expression, according to Amnesty International.