ZIMBABWE: TWO TAXI DRIVER KILLERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
June 23, 2020:
A High Court judge has condemned two robbers to death for killing a taxi driver in Harare two years ago, The Herald reported on 22 June 2020. Â (Sources: The Herald, 22/06/2020)
Zimbabwe’s Constitution allows death sentence to be passed on adult men convicted of aggravated murder, but since 2005 there has been a de facto moratorium on executions with all those sentenced to death after a few years having their sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
But Justice Tawanda Chitapi said it has to be accepted that murders committed by men in the course of robbery invariably attract the death penalty in the absence of hefty mitigatory circumstances.
Romeo Jambara (29) and Norest Tamangani (31) were convicted of murder with constructive intent of taxi driver Taruvinga Mutiza.
Murder with constructive intent means that the killing was not premeditated, but that the killers were prepared to use extreme violence and were utterly reckless.
It is a common verdict when someone is killed during a robbery, but the original intent was to rob rather than kill.
After the murder, the two dumped the body along Acacia Road in Westgate after stealing the taxi and driver’s property, which included USB cables, chargers, modulators, a cellphone and a wallet.
Those sentenced to death have an automatic appeal to the Supreme Court, and if that court confirms the sentence then the matter goes to Cabinet.
While Zimbabwe has not carried out any executions since 2005, at the end of last year about 80 people were on death row. In March this year, President Mnangagwa commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences of all those convicts that had been on death row for at least 10 years.
Being a former death row prisoner, the President has made it clear in public for several years that he totally opposes the death penalty and is working on legal modalities to remove the penalty from the country’s statutes.