Lengthy Sentences replace Death Penalty as Cabinet approves abolition of penalty
Brian Rungano Temba
Cabinet has considered and approved the Memorandum on the Private Member’s Death Penalty Abolition Bill, Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Hon. Dr Muswere has confirmed.
He confirmed this on Tuesday evening while addressing the press during a Post cabinet briefing.
He told the press that the abolition of the bill was presented in this year’s inaugural Cabinet meeting at State House today.
The Private Member’s Bill was introduced in the National Assembly, and its main purpose was to abolish the death penalty in Zimbabwe through the amendment to the Criminal Law Code and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
“Following ongoing debates locally, regionally and internationally on whether or not the death penalty should be abolished, the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs conducted countrywide grassroots consultations in 30 districts of Zimbabwe, three (3) districts per each of the ten provinces, after which a Report was produced.
“From these consultations, critical comments and views were expressed for, and against the death penalty,” said Hon Dr Muswere.
Hon Dr Muswere told the press that Cabinet approved the abolition of the death penalty and agreed that the circumstances attracting death penalty options include where the murder is committed against a prison or police officer, or minor or pregnant woman; or it is committed in the course of other serious crimes or where there was pre-meditation.
“In view of the need to retain the deterrent element in sentencing murderers, it is expected that the new law will impose lengthy sentences without violating the right to life.
The existence of aggravating circumstances may attract life sentences,” he added.