Human rights watchdog, Amnesty International Country Director, Cousin Zilala has implored the Zimbabwe government to completely outlaw death penalty.
Zilala was addressing hundreds of Zimbabweans who thronged Tendai Hall in Mufakose, Harare for the World Day Against the Death Penalty commemorations.
He said the country was on the verge of abolishing the capital punishment way back in 2016.
But, Zilala said Zimbabwe then moved back ten steps backwards when the legislature allowed some sections contained in the General Laws Amendments bill to sail through the house and subsequently be passed into law.
“The country was actually making headway in doing away with the death penalty but then unknowingly Parliament allowed the General Laws bill to be promulgated into law.
“Although there are some provisions contained in the law which exempts certain societal groups to be condemned to the hangman’s noose such as women, those below 21 years of age and those above 70 years, we are actually lobbying the Government with a view to have the death penalty sentence to be scrapped in its entirety” he said.,
He said currently the country has 97 prisoners including one woman on the death row. Executions of condemned prisoners in the country were last performed in 2005.
Amnesty International said recent scientific studies have actually revealed that nowhere in the world has it shown that the death penalty is a better deterrent to crime than imprisonment.
Infact, in countries where the death penalty has been abolished, crime rates have often fallen.
The average murder rate in the United States of America (USA) for states that use the death penalty is higher than for those that do not.
In 2006, thirty years after Canada abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes, the murder rate has fallen by over a third.