Zimbabwe To Appear At The Vatican Over Death Penalty
Harare, November 30, 2012 - Zimbabwe is appearing at the Vatican City to answer questions on why it still maintains the death penalty law in its statute books together with about 20 other countries around the world who still do so.
Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone told Radio VOP that she will be attending the meeting in Rome to hear the Vatican’s view on death penalty and argue the case for Zimbabwe.
The Catholic Church has been calling for the abolition of death penalty around the world and in countries that the church has a presence.
“I shall be in Rome between 29 and 30 November where I will be talking about the death sentence in Zimbabwe. There is a department of the Saint’Egidio Community within the Roman Catholic Church which wants to hear from about 20 odd countries around the world which still maintain death penalty,” said Makone.
The Saint’Egidio Community seeks to encourage people around the world to campaign for the end of death penalty.
Zimbabwe still maintains the death penalty although a proposed new constitution for the country abolished it in respect of women, children under the age of 18 and senior citizens aged above 70 years.
“When I joined the unity government I was given a list of people on death row that should get a presidential pardon. I said these people must be hanged but the president said we will give you the job to hang them but I told him I don’t want to kill so no-one has the right to kill because that is up to God because he is our creator,” said Makone.
Speaking to the Catholic News ahead of the meeting, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged delegates to the meeting to promote the abolition of the death penalty and lobby for political and legislative initiatives that eliminate death penalty.