Breaking News

Zimbabwe women escape hanging

by Staff reporter
11 February 2013 | 5578 Views
A new Zimbabwe Constitution could keep two condemned women from a date with the hangman but could leave their victims' families still waiting for final justice.

Zimbabwe's new draft constitution, which will be put to referendum in the next few months, exempts women, men under 21 at the time of the crime and the over 70s from the death penalty.

It also prohibits the imposition of death penalty as a mandatory punishment.

If adopted in the forthcoming referendum, the new Constitution could stay the execution of two women out of a total 76 inmates on death row.

But for the victims' families, a new Constitution could be another devastating blow in meting out justice, made worse by the imminent stay of execution prompted by seemingly new sensitivities emerging as civilisation advances against punishment that many now see as revolting.

One of the female death-row inmates, Rosemary Khumalo, was convicted of the 1998 gruesome murder of her businessman suitor Maxwell Sibanda.

Khumalo was also convicted separately of a string of robberies.

Now 69, her lawyers have long tried to save her life by claiming that the she has suffered enough on death row since her 2000 conviction and do not understand why she is to be executed. Her death would violate the new Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment," they say.

She has petitioned President Robert Mugabe five times begging for mercy but two of those petitions were turned down.

She still awaits the reply on the other pleas for mercy.

Now the new Constitution offers a stay on the execution, after several scrambles to appeal to the Supreme Court were consistently denied over the years.

International human rights group Amnesty International says while the proposed limitations to the application of the death penalty are welcome, it called for the death penalty to be abolished fully in the new Constitution, regardless of gender and the circumstances in which a crime was committed.

Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International southern Africa director, said the practical impact of the provisions under the current draft to exempt women would not significantly reduce the use of the death penalty.

Meanwhile, the appointment of a new hangman has raised grave macabre fears that the country may be preparing to start executions again after a seven-year break.

Zimbabwe has not conducted any executions since 2005, the same year that the country's last hangman retired.

The last person to be executed was Mandlenkosi "Never" Masina Mandha, who was executed in July 2005.

"This macabre recruitment is disturbing and suggests that Zimbabwe does not want to join the global trend towards abolition of this cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment," Kututwa said.

"The death penalty is a violation of the right to life which is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments to which Zimbabwe is a state party.

"The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state.

"We oppose the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner."

Of the 76 convicts condemned to death by hanging, they have been kept in solitary confinement in the barracks close to the gallows. Some of them have languished there for more than a decade.

Some of the longest serving death row inmates include George Manyonga, who has spent 16 years awaiting execution, and James Dube who has spent 13 years on death row.

 With 76 prisoners on death row, there is a growing clamour to abolish capital punishment through the ongoing Constitution-making process.

 Many Zimbabweans see a new constitution as the centrepiece of positive change in the country. There has been popular demand for this reform going back well over a decade ago, and the abolishment of the death penalty is high on the agenda.

 The Daily News understands that of the 76 convicts on death row, dozens have petitioned the President seeking clemency.

 The rest are fated to hang.

Civil rights activists insist judicial executions should be stopped.




 Pope John Paul II, during a visit to Zimbabwe appealed to the government to abandon the death penalty, so has several churches here.

 A few prisoners on death row have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment after the Supreme Court ruled it inhumane to delay their execution. 

Hanging Constitution

Source: dailynews

Could there be war if Grace Mugabe becomes President?

Yes
75.96%
No
9.84%
Who cares?
14.21%
183

Comments

Latest Classifieds (Click Here For More)

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Biti absolves self, calls Tsvangirai modern day sell-out - "Each strug...

by Wilbert Mukori | 21 October 2014 | 501 Views

SADC adopts WHO guidelines on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 486 Views

Mugabe and wife return home from Rome

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1435 Views

Woman bashed for demanding a debt

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 713 Views

Crocodile eggs vendor granted bail

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1228 Views

Ex- cop 'steals' $5000 from doctor

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1336 Views

Gadadi battle brings back sad memories for Mat'land - Thousands of peo...

by Thabo Kunene | 21 October 2014 | 2318 Views

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3506 Views

Man kills self after gleaning wife's romantic messages with neighbour ...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3970 Views

Fatal end to joy-swim as two boys drown - MVUMA - What began like a jo...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1920 Views

Zim seeks to clear 'bad image' in the West - NEWLY appointed Zimbabwea...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1675 Views

VP aspirants must reform, says JB Phetshu - ZANU PF Matabeleland South...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1532 Views

Mujuru(s) reaping what they sowed?

by Chris Goko | 21 October 2014 | 4451 Views

Killer Pastor gets double life jail term - CONTROVERSIAL Jerusalem Ap...

by Court reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1670 Views

Jilted woman torches self in love dispute

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2425 Views

Woman jailed 14 months for kidnapping minor

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1344 Views

Drunk pupils thoroughly bash Maths teacher - TWO highly intoxicated pu...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3729 Views

Boarding master caught pants down with matron

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 5893 Views

Things we have learnt from and about Grace Mugabe - In the last articl...

by Alex T. Magaisa | 21 October 2014 | 3829 Views

Prophet rapes married congregant - A SELF-PROCLAIMED Gokwe prophet was...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2394 Views

MDC-T more violent than Zanu-PF - survey - THE MDC-T was fingered as t...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 819 Views

Grace Mugabe agitating for war, says Biti - PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's ...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3000 Views

Peter Ndlovu, Grobbelaar out of England's greatest 100 list

by Sikhumbuzo Moyo | 21 October 2014 | 2948 Views

Man assaults soldier, cops over girlfriend - A Gweru man allegedly wen...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1834 Views

Zanu-PF Politburo meeting deferred - The Zanu-PF Politburo meeting, wh...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1639 Views

Lightning strikes 50 police recruits in Zimbabwe - FIFTEEN police recr...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2624 Views

Widow stones in-laws at suicide wake - ANTI-RIOT police had to be call...

by Auxilia Katongomara | 21 October 2014 | 1502 Views

Opposition parties rallies behind Joice Mujuru - FUNCTIONARIES from o...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2699 Views

Entertainment

Zim representative in the Big Brother Africa survives eviction - Zimba...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 1797 Views

Grace Mugabe's political comedy takes ZTV hostage - For the past two w...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 3866 Views

Oliver Mtukudzi to deliver lecture at Musica 2014 - Zimbabwe's interna...

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1072 Views

Gezha maoko - Ladybee (Official Video)

by Staff Reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1846 Views

Matebeleland Music & Arts Festival - Sivala umnyaka ngengoma lapho sit...

by Staff Reporter | 17 October 2014 | 1519 Views

Obediah Matulana releases Christmas DVD - Bulawayo-based musician Obed...

by Staff reporter | 16 October 2014 | 1691 Views

Grace Mugabe honoured in song - Dancehall outfit Final Warning has rel...

by Tawanda Marwizi | 15 October 2014 | 2192 Views

US firm makes money off Zimbabwe concept - United States transport sh...

by Staff reporter | 14 October 2014 | 2706 Views
iBlog