Amnesty International has commended the move by Zimbabwe’s cabinet to back abolition of the d3ath penalty saying capital punishment “has no place in our world.”
Speaking after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 06 February, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere said Cabinet had resolved to back the Private Member’s Bill which seeks to abolish the death penalty.
Muswere said while approving the Bill to abolish the death penalty, Cabinet still wanted the new law to impose lengthy sentences to deter murder.
Responding to the development, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Khanyo Farisè said:
Zimbabwe has taken the right step towards ending this abhorrent and inhuman form of punishment that has no place in our world.
Now that the cabinet has given its nod, Parliament must ensure the death penalty is truly abolished by voting to pass legislation that will make this a reality.
Zimbabwe reportedly carried out its last execution in 2005 but death sentences have continued to be imposed.
At independence in 1980, there were nine crimes punishable by death under Zimbabwean law.
Currently, offenders cab be sentenced to death for three offences, namely treason; where the act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism results in the death of a person; for murder and for attempted murder or incitement or conspiracy to commit murder.