Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwean president

Zimbabwe: Commute death sentence to prison terms in Tapiwa Makore murder case

Responding to the news Tafadzwa Shamba and Tapiwa Makore Senior have been sentenced to death by the Harare High Court over the murder of Tapiwa Makore three years ago, Khanyo Farisè, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa, said:

Death penalty violates the right to life. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment

Khanyo Farisè, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for East and Southern Africa

“Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to execute the prisoner. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

“While Amnesty International acknowledges the pain and anguish felt by Tapiwa’s family following the death of Tapiwa Makore, the death penalty is never the appropriate response and must never be used in any circumstances anywhere in the world. In opposing the death penalty, Amnesty International in no way seeks to minimize or condone the crimes for which those sentenced to death were convicted. Anyone found guilty of a crime after a fair trial that meets international standards should be held accountable without resort to the death penalty.

Zimbabwean authorities must abolish the death penalty for all crimes

Khanyo Farisè

There is no credible evidence that the death penalty has a greater deterrent effect on crime than prison terms. Amnesty International is urging the authorities in Zimbabwe to commute all death sentences to prison terms. Also, we call on the Zimbabwean authorities to establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty for all crimes.”


On 12 July 2023, Tafadzwa Shamba and Tapiwa Makore Senior were sentenced to death following a trial at the Harare High Court over the murder of Tapiwa Makore.

Tapiwa, who was murdered on 17 September 2020, was found disfigured and dismembered, sparking widespread outrage.