I cannot ‘execute’ convicted murderers – Tanzania’s president declares

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has stated that he cannot assent to an execution of the death penalty which is legal in the country. He said this on Monday during the swearing of Chief Justice Ibrahim Hamis Jumais Da es Salaam, that he can’t make that difficult decision on the execution of convicted murderers. “I know there are people who convicted of murder and waiting for death penalty but please don’t bring the list to me for a decision because I know how difficult it is to execute.” he said. The Tanzanian Penal Code, Cap 16 stipulates that the death penalty for serious offenses like murder and treason.

Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba who is the Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre, commended the president for his stance but demanded that he goes further to abolish the penalty. “We need the abolition of this penalty due to the fact that it can’t be implemented; in this case, it should be wise for the judges to change punishment from death penalty to life imprisonment or sentenced to 30 and above years in jail,” she was quoted saying.

Only about 20 African countries have abolished the death penalty with Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria still practicing executions. Tanzania, on the other hand, last executed a convict in 1994.

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