Amnesty International has called on journalists to work together, educated the society and push for the abolishment of death penalty in the country.
Addressing journalists and delegates during the Amnesty International media workshop on the Death penalty, Member of Parliament for Dzivarasekwa constituency Edwin Mushoriwa told journalists that there are other ways that can be adopted such as life sentences than to practice what he termed an inhuman act.
“Prior to 2016 there was no law. Between 2013 and 2016 so basically what we are doing is that we are going back to 2016, we are just removing to ensure that there is no law and try to ensure that those people on the death as we currently speak can be in a position to have their sentences changed to either life imprisonment or other minimal sentences,” said Mushoriwa adding that the hope and belief is that bill passes through even though it means there are going to be some amendments to certain words.”
Mushoriwa added that death penalty tends to have psychological effects on prisoners who are on the death waiting list knowing that any minute they can be dead, therefore the urgent need to have it removed.
“There are inmates who have spent for example more than three years on the death row, waiting to die any minute, this damages them psychologically, that alone is a human torture.
“ I know there are some people who wish for the death sentence to remain, but the question becomes that if the death penalty is a deterrent why are the murders continuing to happen?” he queried.
Speaking at the same event, Advocate Tererai Mafukidze shared the same sentiments with Mushoriwa and said, “Life sentences can deter crime, I think executions are so private that we do not see the goriness of them. If we want to deter people from using the death penalty we should see the deed live, if we want to use it must be a public show. Life sentences are very important because if someone goes for example twenty years, they lose their families, friends, work and jail is not nice.”
Amnesty International Campaigns Officer Lucy Chivasa said the death penalty is not an effective deterrent.
“Nowhere has it been shown that the death penalty is a better deterrent to crime than imprisonment.
“In fact, in countries where the death penalty has been abolished, crime rates have often fallen,” she added.