ZIMBABWE: DEBATE ON THE ABOLITION OF THE DEATH SENTENCE
January 25, 2011: Amnesty International in conjunction with Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum held a two day workshop from Monday the 24th to 25th of January to stir debate on exploring and developing concrete strategies for campaigning against the death penalty in Zimbabwe.
Mr Maja a lawyer and Lecturer with the University of Zimbabwe pin pointed that it was pertinent for the courts to infuse human rights on their interpretation of the law to make sure that the law should not impede on the right to life. In his presentation, Mr Maja also highlighted that there were 52 inmates in Zimbabweâ€™s Prisons that are currently waiting on the death row with others having spent more than a decade without knowing their fate. He further bemoaned the squalid inhuman conditions that amount to undermining of human dignity, prevalent in the prison cells for the inmates on death row.
Traditional leaders denounced death penalty as a western idea brought about by the settler colonialist regime and submitted that it was un-African to kill as that the African culture places sacred importance to the right to life. (Sources: swradioafrica.com, 03/02/2011)