Breaking News

Zimbabwe women escape hanging

by Staff reporter
11 February 2013 | 6494 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

Should Miss World Zimbabwe have been dethroned?

Yes
31.3%
No
64.06%
Not sure
4.64%
345

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Government of Botswana Concern over Killing of Lion in Zimbabwe

by Staff Reporter | 31 July 2015 | 107 Views

Chibuku Super Cup first round draw

by Thobekile Zhou | 31 July 2015 | 288 Views

Victoria Falls firm sues RBZ, Barclays

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 295 Views

Man kills self following a heated argument over $4000

by Staff Reporter | 31 July 2015 | 1255 Views

Prison break in Mutare

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 1274 Views

Hunters hit back on international condemnation over Cecil killing

by Staff Reporter | 31 July 2015 | 1130 Views

Zimbabwe's two years of misery and hopelessness

by Obert Chaurura Gutu | 31 July 2015 | 713 Views

Zimbabwe want killer of Cecil the lion extradited

by Agencies | 31 July 2015 | 989 Views

WATCH: Boys bumps into someone's car and get smashed

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 2223 Views

Econet boss quits

by Ndou Paul | 31 July 2015 | 3126 Views

Striker dumps Bosso

by Sports reporters | 31 July 2015 | 2009 Views

Estate Agents barred from trading - list

by Ndou Paul | 31 July 2015 | 1268 Views

Zesa steps up debt recovery measures

by Ndou Paul | 31 July 2015 | 1555 Views

Jabulani Sibanda calls for an uprising

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 3501 Views

Grace Mugabe exposed speculators

by John Sigauke | 31 July 2015 | 3347 Views

ZAPU's position on recent Supreme Court rulings

by Mjobisa Noko, Zapu Secretary for Information, Marketing and Publicity | 31 July 2015 | 1510 Views

Dembare fires David Mandigora

by Sports reporter | 31 July 2015 | 2492 Views

Patron fondles waitress's privates

by Noleen Makhurane | 31 July 2015 | 2316 Views

Second hand panties galore

by Daisy Jeremani | 31 July 2015 | 1861 Views

Mugabe splurges $50 million on military vehicles

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 3484 Views

Mutasa savages wasteful Grace Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 3707 Views

Gamatox 2 brewing, says Jonathan Moyo

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 4423 Views

'I've no presidential ambitions,' says Mphoko

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 1958 Views

Govt imports 400 000 decoders from China

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 3121 Views

China tells Zimbabwe to repay $1.5 billion

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 2967 Views

Mzembi breathes fire

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 2043 Views

Obert Mpofu washes his hands

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 2398 Views

Moyo admits ZimAsset failure

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 1630 Views

Mugabe urged to stop assault on vendors

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 1484 Views

Mugabe honours champion Manyuchi

by Staff reporter | 31 July 2015 | 1349 Views

Entertainment

Gwanda gospel music extravaganza confirmed

by Staff correspondent in Pretoria South Africa | 29 July 2015 | 2633 Views

Zim music industry dead - Prof Moyo

by Staff Reporter | 29 July 2015 | 4013 Views

Bev causes UK man to soil pants

by Bongani Ndlovu | 28 July 2015 | 8111 Views

Maskandi Mtshengiseni Gcwensa dies

by Stephen Jakes | 28 July 2015 | 5938 Views

Let me be! - Acie Lumumba

by TWZ | 28 July 2015 | 3254 Views

Bev returns home

by Staff reporter | 28 July 2015 | 7227 Views

Rapper Chad and Grammy winner Soko partner on EFT single

by Anashe Press Relations | 27 July 2015 | 3259 Views

All set for Chibuku Neshamwari National Finals in Bulawayo

by Thobekile Zhou | 25 July 2015 | 1979 Views
iBlog

Ios 9 Features Inspired By Android

apple announced ios 9 on monday, and while watching the keynote, i had just a little bit of déjà vu. most of ios 9's new features seem to be squarely aimed at apple's biggest rival in mobile: android. specifically, they were about catching up to ... Read More
Sergey 13 June 2015 ago

Samsung Gear Vr Innovator Edition For S6: The Perfect Vr Intro For Professionals

we're drenched in talk about the impending wave of consumer-facing vr headsets about to hit the market, starting at the end of 2015. by contrast, you can walk into a best buy right now and pick up the samsung gear vr innovator edition for the galax... Read More
Sergey 20 June 2015 ago