Known for been the oldest and most educated president in the country with his latest addition been an Honorary doctorate in Agricultural Sciences, the outspoken Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has once again called for the restoration of the death penalty, after more than 50 people applied for the vacant position of hangman in the country.
Capital punishment is on the statute book in Zimbabwe, but no one has been executed since 2005 when the country’s last hangman retired.
“I think let’s restore the death penalty,” President Mugabe said in the capital Harare at the burial of a veteran of Zimbabwe’s independence struggle, AFP reports.
Mr Mugabe, 93, said he had been shocked by the number of recent murders in Zimbabwe after receiving a crime report from the police chief, though he gave no further details.
“People are playing with death by killing each other,” he said.
“Is this why we liberated this country? We want this country to be a peaceful and happy nation, not a country with people who kill each other.”
Rights groups including Amnesty International have often called on Zimbabwe, which has 92 inmates on death row, to permanently abolish capital punishment.
The country’s 2013 constitution exempts all women from the hangman’s noose, as well as men under 18 and over 69 years old.
Zimbabwe, which has an unemployment rate of more than 90 per cent, announced last month that it received over 50 applications from people wanting to become hangman.
Justice ministry secretary Virginia Mabhiza said at the time that the response had been “overwhelming”.