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Chief Mathupula denounces death penalty

by Staff reporter
23 Jul 2020 at 20:26hrs | Views
SENATOR Chief Mandhlakazulu Mathupula Khumalo of Matabeleland North has denounced the death penalty saying it was not in keeping with the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) philosophy of rehabilitating and reintegrating offenders.

Chief Mathupula made the remarks on Tuesday while contributing to debate on a motion on the repeal of the death penalty introduced by Harare Metropolitan senator Theresa Makone (MDC Alliance).

"When we look at our own ZPCS philosophy, it states that it is not proper for us to continue with the death penalty," Chief Mathupula said.

"Why is it that we want to continue to execute people? Most of these executions affect poor people that cannot afford legal representation. More black people are executed because they are poor as well as women who are not empowered to get legal representation.

"The methods used to execute are also cruel which include the electric chair, lethal injection, the guillotine and the firing squad - which are all barbaric and have no space in modern society."

Chief Mathupula said the Bible says "Thou shall not kill" and, therefore, the country should do away with the death penalty.

Masvingo senator Tichinani Mavetera (MDC Alliance) said there was need to respect section 56 of the Constitution which emphasises equality and non-discrimination. He said the death penalty should, therefore, not apply to all men including those aged 21 to 70.

"Section 48 of the Constitution must be repealed as it is discriminatory and is contrary to what we are trying to do by removing the death penalty. The idea is not to eliminate an offender, but to try and make the individual a better person through rehabilitation," Mavetera said.

Section 48 (c) of the Constitution reads: "The death penalty must not be imposed on (i) a person who was less than 21 years old when the offence was committed; or (ii) who is more than 70 years old; (d) the penalty must not be imposed or carried out on a woman."

Source - newsday