Several western countries urge Zimbabwe to abolish death penalty

Source: Several western countries urge Zimbabwe to abolish death penalty

Under Zimbabwe’s current constitution, the High Court can impose the death penalty on any man aged between 21 and 70 who commits murder.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly included the United States as one of the countries calling for Zimbabwe to abolish the death penalty. It has since been updated. Eyewitness News apologises for the error.

HARARE – Today is the World Day Against the Death Penalty. Britain and the EU are among several Western embassies in Harare calling for Zimbabwe to make 2020 the year for abolishing the death penalty.

The embassies said that abolishing the death penalty was a key indicator of a state’s commitment to promote human rights.

Under Zimbabwe’s current constitution, the High Court can impose the death penalty on any man aged between 21 and 70 who commits murder.

But no one on death row has been executed for the past 15 years and President Emmerson Mnangagwa is known to be strongly opposed to capital punishment.

Whether the death penalty is retained or not will be up to parliament.

One MP from the governing Zanu-PF party suggested in parliament this week that the men who murdered seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore should be executed.

Makore was allegedly murdered last month for ritual purposes by two men, including his uncle, and the details of the crime have shocked the nation.

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