By Prince Njagu
Marking the 12th annual commemorations for world day against the death penalty; Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum; Padare; Amnesty International Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) called for the abolishment of the death penalty in the Zimbabwe constitution.
The constitution “partially” abolishes the death penalty under the new Constitution Amendment No.20 Act 2013.
Why has the government put the ‘partially’ clause in the death penalty and not totally do away with the death penalty” asked Sara Moyo Chairperson of ZWLA.
“The death penalty is actually a violation of ones right to life and as a democratic society; everyone has the right to life and so the government should do away with the death penalty”, said Moyo.
The Zimbabwe Constitution Section 48 abolishes the death penalty for men below 21 and above 70 and totally for women.
The three Civic groups are lobbying for complete scrapping of the death sentence as they say it’s a violation to the right to life.
ZWLA has since applied to the Constitutional Court pleading for the removal of the death sentence as it is inconsistent with section 48(2) (d) .
The three Civic Society groups called for the government to take action and regularize the situation for the only woman who was on the death roll so as to prevent her from further torture and ordeal.
“We as Amnesty International call for completely removal of the death penalty,” said Vongai Chikwanda; Campaigns Coordinator at Amnesty International Zimbabwe
Chikwanda emphasized how Amnesty International has been advocating for human rights and the abolishing of the death sentence since 1961.