Human rights groups are expressing grave concern at the news that the Zimbabwean prison service has employed a hangman. Currently there are believed to be 74 men and two women on death row. Zimbabwe’s last hangman retired in 2005.
Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s Southern Africa director, said in a statement, “This macabre recruitment is disturbing and suggests that Zimbabwe does not want to join the global trend towards abolition of this cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment.”
The current draft of Zimbabwe’s new constitution, which is due to be put to a referendum later this year exempts women and men under 21 or more than 70 from the death penalty.