Applicants' Answering Affidavit Makoni v The Commissioner of Prisons and Another

IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF ZIMBABWE HELD AT HARARE

In the matter between:-

OBADIAH MAKONI                                                                       APPLICANT

AND

THE COMMISSIONER OF PRISONS                                                             1ST RESPONDENT

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL & PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS                2ND RESPONDENT

APPLICANT’S ANSWERING AFFIDAVIT

I, OBADIAH MAKONI do hereby make oath and state that:

I am the Applicant in this matter.  The facts I depose hereto are fully within my knowledge and to the best of my belief true and correct. 

I confirm that I have read the opposing affidavits of the Respondents.  It is clear from the tone of the affidavits that the Respondents clearly, fail to understand the nature and the context of my application.  In fact I am surprised and shocked that indeed there has been an opposing affidavit filed. Out of an abundance of caution, I wish to state that whole life sentences, that are not reducible, violate the right to dignity and freedom from torture inhuman and degrading treatment. 

Further I contend that the purpose of incarceration should not be retributive and in any event, such purpose cannot continue to be advanced by the persons from going incarceration as a lengthy imprisonment may change whether that person remains a threat to society.

I contend that an order deliberately incarcerating individuals such as myself cannot be justified as it effectively amounts to a sentence which locks the gates of the prison irreversibly for the offender without any prospect whatsoever for any lawful escape regardless of the circumstances. 

Indeed I contend that if the purpose of punishment is now rehabilitative, then life sentence, is an infringement on the rehabilitative component of punishment. 

Indeed I contend that rehabilitation should lie at the core of punishment and nothing else. 

With this preliminary remarks I shall now proceed to deal with each paragraph in the opposing affidavit as follows:-

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