Masisi signs fifth execution order since coming to power

by | Jun 17, 2021 | International | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

Botswana is the only African country still upholding and practising capital punishment.
Capital punishment, also called death penalty, refers to the execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of, following a criminal offense.

Last week, the country executed its fifth convict since President Mogkweetsi Eric Masisi came to power on November 1, 2019.
Mr Phemelo Botogeleng, 34, on June 11 became the latest Botswana national to be executed by Botswana’s Gaborone Central Prison Service.
Four executions took place within Masisi`s first year in power, setting an unprecedented benchmark in the history of executions in Africa.

President Masisi signed his first death warrant barely a month into his presidency when he condemned Mooketsi Kgosibodiba to the gallows in November 2019.

President Masisi seems to have no qualms signing these warrants, as the latest execution is a result of a conviction of July 28, 2020, for murder.
The inmate had been on death row for less than one year.
Botswana is one of four countries that continue to carry out executions, despite a defining ruling by the African Court on Human and People’s rights on November 28, 2019, which condemned the death penalty as “patently unfair” because it a convict of a right to be heard and right to life.
The court ruling also outlawed execution by hanging, as it was deemed to be tantamount to torture and cruelty due to the degree of suffering involved.

Most countries still retain the death penalty on their statutes but very few are practising it.
Botswana, Egypt, South Sudan and Somalia are the four defiant countries to have carried out executions since the ruling by the African Court on Human and People’s rights in 2019.

Zimbabwe has not carried out any executions since President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power in late 2017.
The country joins a growing list of abolitionists -those countries which still keep the death penalty on statutes, yet its leaders refuse to enforce it.
When President Mnangagwa came in as a leader, he vowed never to sign any death warrant because he holds in high esteem the sanctity of life.
He always narrates how he was saved from the hangman’s noose for undermining the colonial government, because he was still under the age of majority.
The trauma that he got from the experience convinced him that no one has the right to take a life.
Thus, his commitment never to condemn anyone to death.
So far, Botswana remains the only Southern African country that continues to perform executions while the international community watches quietly.