Zanu (PF) supporters made their point known during an outreach programme that the death penalty must be retained saying those who did not value human life should not be allowed to live as well.
The outreach programme was at Rujeko Primary School in Dangamvura, Mutare’s second largest high density suburb.
“The death sentence should be retained in our new constitution. If I do not respect someone’s life then why my life should be respected? I cannot take an axe and then kill someone and expect my life to be respected too. I must definitely be killed too,” said a known Zanu (PF) supporter in Dangamvura.
They said the death sentence should be extended to those raping children.
“Those raping children should be hanged because in a way, raping a child is like killing her,” said another supporter.
An angry participant shouted: “I do not want to be killed and as such I should not kill other people. Those who kill others should be killed also,” she said.
Those that attempted to differ were heckled down by the more vociferous Zanu PF in the crowd.
“If the right to life is enshrined in the constitution, then the death sentence should be scrapped, as it violates the same constitution,” another resident said, but was heckled down and immediately took his seat.
Over 200 supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were believed to have been killed during the 2008 political violence mostly by Zanu PF supporters and sympathisers aided by the party’s youth militia and state agents. There have never been any arrests of the perpetrators.
Trevor Saruwaka, an MDC-T MP who was part of the COPAC team at the primary school, said everyone had a right to air his or her views and to be heard.
“The most important right we are carrying around the country during the outreach programme is the right to air one’s views. No-one should stop anyone from saying his or her views,” Saruwaka said.
However, there were sharp differences on the issue of dual citizenship including matters to do with the presidency and the post of prime minister.
“We do not want dual citizenship in Zimbabwe as that could create a fertile breeding ground for criminals who will claim citizenship of Zimbabwe and other countries,” said one participant opposing dual citizenship.
“We have seen it happening in Chiadzwa where some unscrupulous people were claiming citizenship of this country because they wanted to siphon our diamonds and disappear. Either one is Zimbabwean or not. It cannot be both,” said another.
Another queried: “God gave Adam and Eve one Garden of Eden to live in, so why as Zimbabweans do we want two countries to live in?”
But they said those from of foreign origin particularly from Malawi and Mozambique should be allowed to enjoy the same benefits as those born in Zimbabwe because they assisted in the liberation struggle.