Prior to the 2016 amendment to the Constitution of Zambia, the Constitution permitted Parliament to pass a legislation that disqualified prisoners from voting in an election. This was particularly provided for in Article 75 of the Constitution[1] as amended in 1996.[2] The said provision enacted as follows:

“75. (1) Every citizen of Zambia who has attained the age of eighteen years shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from registration as a voter for the purposes of elections to the National Assembly, be entitled to be registered as such a voter under a law in that behalf, and no other person may be so registered.

(2) Every person who is registered in any constituency as a voter for the  purposes of elections to the National  Assembly shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from voting  in such elections on the grounds of his  having been convicted of an offence in  connection with elections or, on the  grounds of his having been reported guilty of such an offence by the court  trying an election petition or, on the  grounds of his being in lawful custody  at the date of the election, be entitled so to vote in that constituency in  accordance with the provisions made  by or under an Act of Parliament, and  no other person may so vote.”[3]

Pursuant to the above Constitutional provision, Parliament did in fact pass a legislation disenfranchised prisoners. For example, the Electoral Act[4] in Sections 7 (1) (e)-(f) and 19 (c) enacted that…  Click this link to continue reading this brilliant piece.

[1]Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia.

[2]Act No. 18 of 1996.

[3] Supra Note 1.

[4] Act No. 12 of 2006.