Capital punishment archaic: VP Mnangagwa

VP Mnangagwa

VP Mnangagwa

Takunda Maodza recently in ROME, Italy
THE 92 prisoners on death row in Zimbabwe will not be executed, as the country’s leadership is convinced that it is only God who has the right to take away life, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

The death penalty remains in the Constitution after Zimbabweans voted for its retention during consultations that led to the drafting of the new home grown Constitution.

Addressing Justice Ministers from across the world attending a conference on the abolition of the death penalty in Rome, Italy on Tuesday, Vice President Mnangagwa said the death penalty was a remnant of colonial laws that ought to be scrapped.

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VP Mnangagwa oversees the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

“Historically under the Munhumutapa Empire we did not have the death penalty. It came with the British. They introduced nine crimes that attracted the death penalty. For 100 years they did not hang any British criminals but the African people,” said VP Mnangagwa.

He said the number of crimes attracting death penalty had been whittled down to only treason and murder under aggravated circumstances.

Zimbabwe has also shown its willingness to do away with capital punishment as evidenced by the removal of women, persons aged below 21 and above 71 from the death penalty.

“We agreed as leadership that we do not have the right to take away life. It is the responsibility of the Maker,” said VP Mnangagwa.

He narrated how he escaped the death penalty under the Ian Smith regime when he was spared the hangman’s noose on account of young age.

VP Mnangagwa said the spirit of revenge must be replaced with that of love, as an eye for an eye makes the world blind.

“We have 92 inmates on death row, we are not going to execute them,” he said. “We will reach a decision on whether we should retain the death penalty as leaders.”

The conference brought together Justice Ministers from all over the world to find common ground for the promotion of elimination of capital punishment.

The conference was organised by a Rome based Catholic organisation– Sant Egidio.

The organisation is renowned for brokering peace talks that ended the Mozambican civil war which killed thousands.

During his visit VP Mnangagwa met the Italian President Sergio Mattarella and senior officials from foreign affairs.

The Italians are understood to have pledged to strengthen bilateral and economic cooperation between Harare and Rome.

Italy is a member of the European Union, but the administration in Rome has not gone out of its way to punish Zimbabwe in a manner shown by other members of the bloc.

VP Mnangagwa returned home yesterday evening.

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  • sambiri

    Everything is archaic in Zimbabwe. A painful place to live , the country is in intensive care

    • Kuta Kinte

      Taneta nevanhu vasisagoni anything else except the blame game. Why cant you be positive for once. Buda uyende ku America zvikufambire. If things are bad even in your home, you do not sit down and continuously weep, instead you try and find solutions as a man. We need to collectively develop our Zimbabwe – everyone.

      • sambiri

        kusaziva kufa can’t argue with someone who cannot distinguish which side a piece of bread is buttered. Am not on a yes movement. I have the right to express what i feel. Its unfortunate people like you want everyone agree to your views and you collaborate dragging the once prosperous nation into abyss. In every action there should be equal and opposing reaction.

    • Collin Mackenzie

      You are so depressing, I think they should just ### your sorry #
      You sound like you have no brains and expect people to feed you and you blame government for your own short comings.
      Please leave Zimbabwe we don’t want negative people like you around us,if fact ## maaaaan.

      Please Sambri Shut up or go ###yourself.
      People like you need the ## penalty.

  • jahman

    Tell that to the victims of these murderers that it’s ‘God who decides who lives’. For the record not all Zimbabweans are Christian so that argument doesn’t hold. Death penalty should stay for the people who don’t respect the life of others period

  • MweniTafara

    Abolishment of death penalty must come from ordinary people who are vulnerable to murder and not from politicians with dozens of body guards to protect their life from the very murderers that they want to let loose.

    • Rawboy

      You are not in a fit state of mind to make a sound judgement based on emotions.
      He is right.The death penalty is achaic and it’s barbaric and it’s no deterrent.
      Retribution,yes Sir.

  • Security Detail

    If only the authorities could ensure this even behind doors! We have had numerous allegations of authorities ‘murdering’ innocent people.

  • Kuta Kinte

    If you consider how some people are intentionally and gruesomely murdered, one would not believe that this is happening on our mother earth. While I subscribe to the death penalty, I am forced to reconsider the statement that “the spirit for revenge must be replaced with the spirit for love as AN EYE FOR AN EYE MAKES THE WORLD BLIND”. If we were all guided by this noble principle, the world will be very pleasant to live. However, I am still considering and it is healthier to debate or discuss amicably as peaceful Zimbabweans.

  • felix handover

    let the death penalty stay otherwise there will be an influx of murderers around.It is there so that people respect human life