President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe Government will this month embark on a drive to seek the opinions of the citizenry at grassroots level with regards to the contentious issue of the death penalty.

Nicknamed ‘Ngwena’ (vernacular for Crocodile), Mnangagwa survived the guillotine by a whisker during the colonial era after his crack Crocodile Gang had blown up several trains to sabotage the settler government, leading to his arrest and subsequent death sentence in 1965.

He eventually escaped going through the dreaded hangman’s noose after his legal team convincingly argued that he was under 21 and hence underage for the death penalty.

In a statement this Monday morning, Government said:

“The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs with the support from Centre for Applied Legal Research (CALR) and the Embassy of Switzerland is in the process of drafting a death penalty position in Zimbabwe. After a high-level consultative meeting on the subject matter to inform policy formulation, and law reform agenda, several recommendations were proffered in the meeting. One major reason highlighted was to amass public opinion on the subject matter,” partly reads the statement from the Ministry.

“Against this backdrop, the Ministry shall hold consultative meetings at grassroots level in March 2023 across the country’s provinces.

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Commenting on the same matter, Government spokesperson, Ndavaningi ‘Nick’ Mangwana partly posted on Twitter:

“Surely it will be interesting to know whether the Death Penalty is still widely supported in Zimbabwe or people have moved from an eye for an eye”.