Mugabe's death penalty utterances uncalled for

EDITOR — President Robert Mugabe’s insistence on the retention of the death penalty is unwarranted and a reflection of someone who is not in sync with the world we live in.

The People’s Democratic Party is concerned with such reckless utterances especially coming from someone who stayed in prison for a long time in which many African leaders were killed for fighting to liberate their countries.

We are aware that the death penalty is so dear for Mugabe as an instrument to curtail political dissent which is why he clearly stated in his speech that treason warrants capital punishment.

The record speaks for itself, every prolific leader who raised their head against Mugabe was charged with treason from Joshua Nkomo to Dumiso Dabengwa, Lookout Masuku, Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube, Ndabaningi Sithole and Tendai Biti among others.

Our concern is that of a leader who craves for the death of individuals he is supposed to lead.

The highest court of the land, the Constitutional Court in the Obadiah Makoni case made it clear that we ought to take a rehabilitative and correctional approach on those convicted of crimes in our country.

In fact, the court even declared that no one can be sentenced to life without parole which means any inmate must be given a chance to reform and be rehabilitated back in society, with this in mind condemning someone to death is on the far extreme.

Our Constitution makes it clear that the right to life is

sacred, in the same Constitution we also make the point that citizens must not be subjected to inhumane treatment sending people to the gallows is certainly not humane.

A leader of a country must make decisions based on principles reflecting the values of the people he purports to represent.

Zimbabwe is a highly religious country which is predominantly Christian, a religion which is based on repentance and forgiveness of one’s adversary, the exercise of vengeance as a method of remedy is alien to our people.

It becomes worse when those in power selfishly insist on  the death penalty to serve a narrow agenda of power retention through scaring those who are accused of committing what can be qualified as a treasonous act.

The number of people charged with treason supports our claim that the idea of death penalty is primarily meant to deal with those who differ politically with tyranny, authoritarianism and dictatorship.  

We have witnessed in recent times activists who were arrested and charged with treason including men of cloth who expressed a desire to be governed well.

Making laws with individuals and individual agendas in mind is not only disgraceful but a reflection of unsuitability to lead.

We in the PDP value life, we condemn the fascist idea of capital punishment, our contention is that society can have other means of dealing with those who are convicted for committing heinous crimes.

We will continue fighting for the total abolishing of the death penalty both on the streets, in the corridors of power and in the courts.

We envisage another Zimbabwe where leaders serve selflessly as opposed to those who wake up on the wrong side of the bed and seek to end lives of others.

Together Another Zimbabwe is Possible.

Jacob Mafume,

PDP Spokesperson

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