MUGABE DEMANDS FULL RESTORATION OF DEATH PENALTY | President Mugabe has called for the restoration of the full effects of the death penalty, with all the conditions that existed prior to the adoption of the new Constitution in 2013.
This followed a steep increase in murder cases where people are being killed with actual intent.The new Constitution adopted in 2013 allows the death penalty with certain variations.
According to Section 48 of the Constitution, the law permits the death penalty only on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances, and the law permits the court a discretion of whether or not to impose the penalty.
The same section continues to say that the death penalty must not be imposed on a person who was less than 21 years old when the offence was committed or who was more than 70-years old.
Further, the death penalty must not be imposed or carried out on a woman and the person sentenced must have a right to seek pardon or commutation of the penalty from the President.
President Mugabe made the call to overhaul the new provisions at the burial of national hero Cde Don Kwaedza Muvuti at the National Heroes’ Acre yesterday.
His remarks were informed by the recent chilling murder of a Catholic nun Plaxedes Kamundiya while she was praying at a shrine in Mutoko.
President Mugabe recounted how Sister Kamundiya was murdered, saying such actions called for a re-look at the death penalty with a view to restore its full effects.
He said the death penalty must be restored because people were not respecting the sanctity of life.
“Is this what we fought for? Today we are burying Don here-is this what he struggled for in the jungles?
Cde Mugabe said people like the late national hero Cde Muvuti did not sacrifice their lives so that people would murder each other as what was happening now.
The President said Zimbabwe was supposed to be a country where people enjoyed peace and tranquility and not a country for violence and unwarranted killings.
He said it should not surprise people when in future individuals are sentenced to death for killing others.
Cde Mugabe said he was running out of patience as a result of the increasing cases of murder of innocent people.
He said these needless killings should stop forthwith and people especially the young should be taught to respect the sanctity of life. The President said he did not understand what type of education adults would need for them to refrain from engaging in violence.
Cde Mugabe narrated how Sister Kamundiya met her death while praying at a shrine in Musami and how other fellow sisters later discovered her death.
He said Sister Kamundiya was ra_ped, murdered and her body thrown into a dam by someone known in the locality.
Cde Mugabe said such cruelty was not what heroes like Cde Muvuti and others fought for.
He said it was because of such wayward behaviour that Government continues to review its position regarding the death penalty.
The President said Zimbabwe was being asked by other countries to do away with the death penalty and the argument being that when one is sentenced to death the result is two deaths.
He, however, said although Government supported humanitarianism it was difficult for those whose relatives are murdered to accept that such killers must be spared the death penalty.
President Mugabe said Government was maintaining its present position because there was an appreciation that people have different positions regarding the death penalty.
He said even among themselves as the Presidium they differed on the issue. He said Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa supported doing away with the death penalty but Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has not said his position on the issue.
Cde Muvuti’s burial was also attended by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Cabinet Ministers, Zanu-PF officials and thousands of party supporters.