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‘Killers must be amputated’

Local News
Zimbabwe has not carried out any executions since 2005 after the retirement of the hangman.

SOME citizens feel that the death penalty should be revoked, but are proposing a gory punishment of having murderers amputated.

This came out during public consultations on the death penalty by the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs ministry held at Chitungwiza’s Unit L Hall.

Currently, women, persons below 21 years and above 70 are by law exempted from the death penalty.

This came after the abolishment of mandatory death sentences through the amendment of the Constitution in 2013.

By the end of last year, 62 inmates were reported to be on death row.

“If the person kills that person, they should have their hands cut. The murderer should live the rest of their life without hands,” said Achewin Nyakuramwa.

Another resident, Felistas Chikaka, said: “Recently, there is a victim who was raped by seven men and she is in a critical condition. Hands should be cut as a way of eliminating crimes of this serious nature, some murder crimes. If the perpetrators get their hands amputated, they should be taken care of by their relatives.”

Some people, including St Mary’s ward 3 councillor John Matiyenga (Zanu PF), felt that it was unjust for the law to be lenient on women

“Killing is killing. Whether it’s a woman or man, they should be executed. The law should remain because if removed, there will be a rise in murder cases,” he said.

Takudzwa Chanakira was of the view that people convicted of murder should be compelled to appease avenging spirits.

Zimbabwe has not carried out any executions since 2005 after the retirement of the hangman.

Since then, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has struggled to find someone to wear the hangman’s hood.

Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender chief executive officer Edson Chihota told NewsDay Weekender that the death penalty and amputation were not correctional.

“We feel that the current law isn’t correctional and even the proposition of amputation,” he said.

“There are a number of people who committed murder and have been integrated into the community. They are not giving their respective communities headaches. So, it’s possible for a murderer to be rehabilitated. There are some ex-prisoners, who can even tell you their case numbers.”

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