Botswana authorizes first southern African execution by hanging in two years

February 19, 2018 at 06:44 am | News

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Contributor

February 19, 2018 at 06:44 am | News

Joseph Poni Tselayarona was hanged this weekend for murder

Botswana has hanged a 28-year-old suspected murderer who is accused of killing his girlfriend and her three-year-old son in 2010.

Joseph Poni Tselayarona’s execution is the first in three years in the country which is the only southern African nation holding on to the death penalty.

Only about 20 countries in Africa have abolished the death penalty with Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan still practising executions.

Some East African countries have not banned executions including Tanzania whose president John Magufuli stated last year that he cannot assent to an execution despite the death penalty being legal.

Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni said last month that he plans to enforce the death penalty which has not been sanctioned in the country in the past 13 years. His reason was that people are taking his “leniency as a Christian” to get away with crimes.

Gambian President Adama Barrow on Sunday announced the suspension of the death penalty in his country.

Capital punishment is on the decline across Africa and according to Amnesty International, African governments have executed 22 people in 2016, lower than the 43 executions in 2016.

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