No takers for Zimbabwe hangman's job
Harare - At least 55 death row prisoners, including one sentenced 13 years ago, are awaiting execution in Zimbabwe as the government has failed to hire a new hangman, state media said Thursday.
"Failure to get a hangman has seen someone spending more than 13 years in prison, yet he was sentenced to death," Senator Enna Chitsa was quoted as saying by the government-owned Herald newspaper, during debate on the state of Zimbabwe's prisons.
"He said he is being hanged daily because of that thought of knowing he is going to be executed."
The last executions were in 2004, as the previous hangman retired in 2005. Some death row inmates were convicted long before then, but were waiting to exhaust their appeals.
The government has repeatedly advertised the post in newspapers, but so far found no takers.
Senator Morgan Femai said the post of hangman had not been advertised enough, and urged the government to consider commuting the sentences of death row prisoners.
"In our country, there are so many hangmen," Femai said. "Maybe we are not advertising enough."
Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe's prisons were in a deplorable state where prisoners had one blanket each and food was scarce.