“Our letter to the leadership of the inclusive government is urging them as political leaders to lead in the abolishment of death penalty.
“After having realized that it is returning the death penalty though there are some crimes that have been removed like mutiny and treason but the murder crime still and returns in the draft and we are concerned and we are trying to urge the leadership of the country to use their political muscles and remove death penalty as sign of progression.
“As a country which is committed to improving its human rights situation and record we do not want to miss this glorious opportunity were the global trend is moving towards the elimination of death penalty and Zimbabwe is moving a step backwards,” Amnesty International Director Cousin Zilala told Radio VOP at the end of the week in Harare.
The development comes after revelations of the retention of the death penalty in the draft constitution despite campaigns by human rights defenders for the elimination of death penalty.
Zilala said his organisation will not rest campaigning for the elimination of death penalty if government does not remove it from the new constitution.
Scientific studies have consistently shown that the death penalty is not, in fact, a better deterrent to crime as compared to other punishments, as demonstrated by the consistently high crime rates in many of the states of the USA that retain capital punishment.
There is currently lack of consensus in the inclusive government over the issue of death penalty with some calling for its abolishment while others are supporting it to deter capital crimes.