from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) – THE incoming government of Botswana must prioritise abolishing the death penalty, a human rights organisation has said.
Amnesty International’s call comes after the election of incumbent, Mokgweetsi Masisi, in last week’s election, and his swearing-in at the University of Botswana on Friday (tomorrow).
“Mr Masisi has a chance to immediately demonstrate strong leadership by abolishing the death penalty,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Southern Africa director
Muchena said the death penalty was contrary to Botswana’s demonstration of a great leadership role on some difficult political issues, including by denouncing impunity for human rights violations on the African continent.
The death penalty is still used for certain crimes in Botswana.
According to human rights groups, in 2018, two people were executed after they were convicted of murder.
Botswana is the only country in Southern Africa that consistently uses capital punishment.
Globally, executions fell by almost one-third in 2018 to the lowest figure in a decade.
At the end of last year, 142 countries had abolished the death penalty.
“Justice is not served by executing people, and the world is moving away from this abhorrent and degrading form of punishment,” Muchena said.
During election campaign as party presidential leader for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Masisi pledged to transform the country’s economy.
Botswana is overly reliant on its diamond wealth.
– CAJ News