Zimbabwe appoints hangman


The Economist predicts that no elections will be held in Zimbabwe in 2012. Here, ZANU PF supporters welcome Zimbabwe President and party leader Robert Mugabe upon his arrival at the party's 12th National People's Conference in Bulawayo, on December 8, 2011. The yearly conference of President Robert Mugabe's party starts as he pushes for Zimbabwe to hold elections next year and to rally his divided ranks behind his campaign to defeat Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.


Jekesai Njikizana

Zimbabwe has hired a new official hangman. The post was empty for seven years, and the new hiring has sparked fears of executions."Indeed, we now have a hangman," Prison Service Commissioner Paradzai Zimondi told The Herald, Zimbabwe's state-controlled daily.

A hanging has not occurred in Zimbabwe since the last hangman retired in 2005, the AFP reported.

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Human rights groups are horrified. "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," Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International's southern Africa director, said in a statement

Amnesty International has been calling for the death penalty to be abolished in Zimbabwe's new constitution, BBC News reported

The Herald Newspaper, meanwhile, matter-of-factly explains that the new hangman has "a backlog of 71 people on his hands."