Government is finally looking into coming up with a position on death penalty and will soon embark on a countrywide consultations to seek public opinion on the matter.
While the death penalty is still legal, the country has not carried out executions since 2015 and there has been increasing calls for the government to abolish the sentence.
In a statement, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs confirmed that public consultations will be carried out across the country’s 10 provinces this month.
“The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs with the support from Centre for Applied Legal Research (CALR) and the Embassy of Switzerland is in the process of drafting a death penalty position in Zimbabwe. After convening a High-Level Consultative meeting on the subject matter to inform policy formulation and law reform agenda, several recommendations were proffered in the meeting. One major reason highlighted was to amass public opinion on the subject matter.
“Against this backdrop, the Ministry shall hold consultations at the grassroots level in March 2023 across the country’s provinces. Additionally, the Ministry will conduct preliminary Training of Trainers with Case Care Workers, Village Health Workers and Youth Officers in anticipation of the actual consultations to capacitate the cadres on mobilisation of participants ahead of the consultations,” said the Ministry
The Government said the aim to mobilise personnel is to capacitate the cadres on mobilisation of participants ahead of the actual consultations to obtain a clear and unbiased representation of the community.
Recently, legal think tank Veritas programmes manager Lizwe Jamela was quoted in the media calling for the abolishment of the penalty.
“We continue to urge government to abolish the death penalty for various reasons like that the death penalty is a form of torture as it affects mental health. It is an expense on taxpayers which can be done away with,” Jamela said.
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