Breaking News

Zimbabwe women escape hanging

by Staff reporter
11 February 2013 | 5212 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

Do you agree that foreskins of circumcised men could be used for witchcraft?

Yes
52.76%
No
15.58%
Hogwash
31.66%
199

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Finally, Chingoka quits Zimbabwe Cricket - In what most people would w...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 342 Views

Chaos at Renkini bus terminus - WhatsApp update - 11:44am, 24 Jul - ...

by Concerned citizen | 24 July 2014 | 1198 Views

MDC-T Joburg District endorses Tsvangirai and Khupe - Press release 2...

by Lft Gen Simbarashe Mujeye | 24 July 2014 | 624 Views

Newly appointed Zimpapers editor dies - Newly appointed Zimpapers and ...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 2866 Views

Scientists 'delete' HIV from human cells - Once HIV conquers a human c...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 2435 Views

'Thieving goblin raping man and ruining his business' - Apparently a t...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1543 Views

'Robert Mugabe out of touch,' says Chamisa

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1409 Views

Tendai Biti wants rand to replace US dollar

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 2037 Views

Zimbabwe diamonds stolen in Dubai - A parcel of Zimbabwe diamonds wort...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1228 Views

UK demo awaits Tsvangirai

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1000 Views

Baba Jukwa saga, police summon Jonathan Moyo

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 2261 Views

Mugabe can sue if hurt

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1070 Views

Zanu-PF war looms - ZANU-PF yesterday said the posts of second vice-pr...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1257 Views

Prophets drags NewsDay to court, demands $20 million - PROPHETIC Heali...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1133 Views

Muchechetere case takes another twist - Fungai LupandeSuspended Zimbab...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1019 Views

Grace Mugabe turns 49

by Peter Matambanadzo | 24 July 2014 | 1599 Views

We bring you Auntie Noe and Bhudi Muzi - Following several requests an...

by Features Editor | 24 July 2014 | 1026 Views

'Zimbabwe ID passports,' Mudede speaks out - Registrar-GENERAL Mr Toba...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1356 Views

Journalist murdered - FREELANCE journalist Zeckius Nemadire was on Tue...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 995 Views

7-member family crash victims laid to rest - SEVEN members of the same...

by Auxilia Katongomara | 24 July 2014 | 1092 Views

Cellphone, bank laws nullified - Parliament yesterday protected the pr...

by Zvamaida Murwira | 24 July 2014 | 887 Views

Zesa employee falls through the roof while disconnecting power - A ZES...

by Nqobile Tshili | 24 July 2014 | 1414 Views

Tsvangirai knows I've never asked for his forgiveness says Welshman Nc...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1451 Views

Econet embroiled in tax dispute with Zimra - THE Zimbabwe Revenue A...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1151 Views

Bread shortage looms

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1746 Views

Entertainment

Carl Joshua Ncube to tour with brand new material - The brand new stan...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 310 Views

Macheso gears up for UK tours - In an apparent joint preparation for t...

by Entertainment reporters | 23 July 2014 | 1167 Views

DJ Munya is back - After a two-year hiatus, DJ Munya - real name Munya...

by Entertainment Reporter | 23 July 2014 | 1889 Views

White guy plays chitekete - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp16XF-Tcf...

by Staff Reporter | 23 July 2014 | 2782 Views

Beyonce and Jay Z to separate - claims - Jay Z and Beyonce are reporte...

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2014 | 3191 Views

No talent is meant for the grave, Dr Nkomo Commemoration - The prepara...

by Nokutula Ncube | 22 July 2014 | 973 Views

Miss Curvy dinner flops

by Yeukai Karengezeka | 21 July 2014 | 4954 Views

'He's going to be in trouble once I die' says DJ Cleo's father - 64-ye...

by Staff reporter | 20 July 2014 | 5506 Views