Responding to a move by Zimbabwe’s cabinet to back abolition of the death penalty, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Khanyo Farise, 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.”
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception because it violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Zimbabwe carried out its last execution in 2005 but death sentences have continued to be imposed. At independence, there were nine crimes punishable by death under Zimbabwean law.
Offenders can currently 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.