By Lloyd Mwale in Kadoma
The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, with support from the Centre for Applied Legal Research and the Switzerland Embassy, has kick-started nationwide grassroots consultations to solicit views regarding the death penalty in Zimbabwe.
So far the consultations have been held in Baobab Hall in Turf, Mhondoro-Ngezi, Gutu and Kadoma before heading to Chikangwe Hall in Karoi.
The consultations are intended to provide a platform for public awareness and participation.
The death penalty has been a topical issue in many countries and some countries have abolished it, which has seen organizations lobbying Zimbabwe to follow suit in abolishing it. The government of Zimbabwe, through the ministry of Justice,Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and other development partners have taken the opportunity to bring the debate to the grassroots from all walks of life to afford them the chance to air their views on the death penalty. The views collected from these consultations will assist the government to come up with a position as a country.
The death penalty is regarded as kiling of a person as a sentence for having been convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances.
In Kadoma members of the public gathered in Rimuka to contribute to the nationwide consultations.
“I call for the abolishment of the death penalty in Zimbabwe as what has happened in other developed countries, as it has been seen that the death penalty sentence has not deterred killing of someone. In areas such as Shurugwi,Kwekwe and other areas where murder stastics are high,the government must sentence those convicts to life in jail,” said one contributor.
One female who was a victim of robbery and who escaped death by a whisker, called for the death penalty to remain in place.
“I ask for the death penalty to remain in place. I was a victim of robbery and nearly lost my life. The death penalty must remain as it was before 2005. It will make people to know that if I kill someone I will also be killed.”
Another participant called for the death penalty not to be abolished as it is one rule of law which must be applied so as to make the citizens to honour someone’s life.
“People out there are not honouring others’ lives and
innocent life is being lost so my view is that death penalty not to be abolished! ”
Zimbabwe has not executed any murder convict since 2005 and for the past 18 years the country has had a de facto moratorium on the death penalty.
The last convicts to be hanged were the notorious and infamous CHidhumo and Masendeke who were hanged in 2005.