The death penalty in Zimbabwe
Over the years death penalty has been a matter under serious heated debate. International instruments are against capital punishment. The issue of concern is “what does the Constitution of Zimbabwe provide for in light of the death sentence”? The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the right to life.
Section 48 provides that, “every person has the right to life and that a law may permit the death penalty to be imposed only on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances”.
Who can be subjected to death penalty?
The death penalty must not be imposed:-
- On person who was less than 21 years old when the offence was committed.
- On a person who is more than 70 years old.
- On women.
The person sentenced must have a right to seek pardon or communication of the penalty from the President.
From the reading of the above provision, the death penalty is only handed down on men. It still exists as law in Zimbabwe even though no executions have been carried out in more than a decade. It shows how Zimbabwe is progressing as it is moving towards the abolishment of the death penalty.