According to The Herald, legal experts and some religious leaders have called for the scrapping of the death penalty, calling it irrational and extreme. They suggested the replacement of the death penalty with life imprisonment. This comes at a time when 55 murderers, one of whom was convicted 13-years-ago, are languishing in prison awaiting execution.
The Roman Catholic Church condemned the death penalty, saying it was against their teachings. Secretary-general for the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Fr. Fredrick Chiromba, said. “As the Catholic Church, we respect human life as sacred. We teach people in line with the dignity of life and even if one sins, he should not be killed. Life is in God’s hands and no one can determine someone’s death.”
However, some men of the cloth were blowing hot and cold on the issue as they tried to balance forgiveness and justice. Bishop Naison Shava of the Lutheran Church, who is also the president of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, said. “We preach forgiveness and we also preach justice. From the heavenly points, even the grave sin is forgiven. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven. But it is not an offence to hang a convicted offender. That is mere application of justice,” he said.
Dr Goodwill Shana, founder and president of Word of Life Church said. “We believe in the grace and mercy of God. We are obviously biased towards the sanctity and value of life. “But at the same time, there are exceptional circumstances where the death penalty is called for,” he said.
Reverend Obadiah Musindo supported the death penalty, saying. “Spiritually, we learn that he who kills with a sword dies with a sword. If a convicted murderer is hanged, it is not a sin before God. “Although some human rights movements are calling for the removal of the death penalty, we have to consider the feelings of the deceased’s relatives. Spiritually, it is prescribed as a form of punishment for offenders and that is why there was the cross,” he said.
Zimbabwe uses the Roman Dutch Law.