Tanzania: No Death Penalty in New Constitution - Call
By Rose Athumani, 23 January 2013
DEATH penalty should not be provided for in the new constitution regardless of the severity of the crime, former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa has proposed.
Mr Lowassa was presenting his views to the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) in Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is considered a de facto abolitionist country in terms of death penalty. According to Amnesty International, 95 countries had abolished death penalty for all crimes as of December 2009.
Likewise, more than two thirds of the countries in the world had abolished it in laws or practice by December 2010. According to Legal and Human Rights Centre, the country has no record of execution of the death sentence since 1995.
Similarly the Law Reform Commission of Tanzania's report on capital punishment says no death sentence was effected between 1978 and 1987 and between 1995 to date.
Death is imposed as punishment for murder under section 197 of the Penal Code, Treason, under section 39 and 40 of the Penal Code and misconduct of military commanders, under the First Schedule of the National Defence Act.
Mr Lowassa who is also the MP for Monduli (CCM) further proposed for a provision in the new constitution which makes secondary education free. That, he said would enable the country build a future nation composed mostly of educated youth.
The former premier also suggested that the new constitution should have a provision to ensure equitable distribution of land to avoid conflicts between pastoralists and farmers.