Zimbabwe

Zim death row inmates ask for life

2016-01-14 22:27

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

World Bank responds to Zim activist Dzamara's petition
World Bank responds to Zim activist Dzamara's petition

The World Bank country director for Zimbabwe, Guang Zhe Chen, has responded to a recent petition by Zimbabwean activist Patson Dzamara, calling on the financial institution not to resume support for the southern African country.

Harare - Inmates who have spent years on death row in Zimbabwe's prisons approached the country's highest court on Wednesday in a bid to have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court heard the accounts of 15 inmates, some of whom have been waiting to be executed for 18 years.

"Because of the torture we have been subjected to whilst waiting for a long time on death row, it will be unconstitutional to execute us," Cuthbert Chawira, a murder convict on death row for 15 years, said in an affidavit submitted in court. Prison guards regularly taunt inmates about their imminent executions, he said.

Vice President and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is in charge of authorizing executions, refuses to sign any execution orders for Zimbabwe's nearly 100 death row inmates due to his personal objections to the death penalty. While Zimbabwean law allows capital punishment, no one has been executed in the county since 2005 because there was no qualified executioner until 2013.

The death penalty is only handed down to men convicted of murder.

The inmates' lawyer, Tendai Biti, described Zimbabwe's harsh prison conditions, saying they only added to his clients' woes.

"There are no newspapers or tissues in these toilets and sometimes prisoners resort to using the Bible as toilet roll," Biti told the court. "The prisons are cold and lifeless."

Rights group Amnesty International has urged the southern African country to do away with the death penalty completely.

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE:

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.