The bulletin discusses the death penalty in Zimbabwe which is one of the contentious issues that had stalled the on-going constitution-making process in Zimbabwe. The death penalty also referred to as capital punishment, entails legally terminating the life of a convicted criminal or offender to death for a prescribed offence. Thus a state can put a person to death as punishment for a crime committed.
The death penalty has been used since time immemorial in communities across the world for crimes ranging from murder, adultery, witchcraft and kidnapping. Even some religious laws have embraced the death penalty. During Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle the death penalty was applied against freedom fighters under the charges of treason for waging a war against the state. Consequently it was one of the most hated forms of punishment.
Amnesty International asserts that to date 78 people have been executed since 1980 by hanging and currently 61 people are on the death row. According to the national report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review of Zimbabwe (2011) the Government of Zimbabwe reported that the last execution was carried out in 2005.