Hunting Facts, Telling Truth

Cabinet backs death penalty removal

Cabinet backs death penalty removal




THE Private Member’s Bill to abolish the death penalty in Zimbabwe yesterday received Cabinet backing, basically assuring that it will be passed by Parliament, with life imprisonment now becoming the maximum sentence for aggravated murder.


Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting that while approving the Bill to abolish the death penalty, Cabinet still wanted the new law to impose lengthy sentences to deter murder.


It was agreed that the circumstances that attracted the death penalty in the past, where the murder was committed against a prison or police officer, or a minor or pregnant woman, or was committed in the course of other serious crimes or where there was pre-meditation, then a suitable severe penalty was needed.


“In view of the need to retain the deterrent element in sentencing murderers, it is expected that the new law will impose lengthy sentences without violating the right to life,” said Dr Muswere. of the Constitution.


Zimbabwe as an independent nation was wary of the death penalty from the beginning and had dumped and replaced a multitude of colonial laws with hanging clauses, even the option of a death penalty for some ordinary crimes, leaving a death sentence only for murder without extenuating circumstances.


Hanging required a positive decision by a Cabinet majority under the 1980 Constitution, and it became apparent during the 1990s that there was a growing abhorrence of implementing that sentence.


This saw the growing number of Presidential clemency orders substituting sentences of life imprisonment, a procedure that has now been routine for a long time.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy