Authorities in Botswana have confirmed the hanging on Friday morning of a convicted murderer. The government said on its social media handles that 37-year-old Uyapo Poloko was hanged by the Prisons Service.
The execution took place at the Gaborone Centra Prison. It followed a death sentence, which was imposed on Poloko by the Francistown High Court on July 28, 2015 for murder.
Details of the 2015 murder case
Poloko was convicted for both robbery and murder of Vijeyadeyi Kandavaranam in 2010 at Ntshe location in Francistown as well as attempting to kill the deceased’s husband, Balasingnam Kandavaranam.
He received a death penalty for murder and sentenced to 12 years and 10 years for attempted murder and robbery respectively. Poloko later appealed the judgment but was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on February 2 this of this year.
According to government, High Court Justice Modiri Letsididi in handing out the sentence noted that: “The crimes were committed in a brutal and ruthless manner because he strangled the deceased. Strangulation by nature leads to a slow and painful death.
“In all the circumstances, I am unable to find any extenuating circumstances in the conviction for the offences that could reduce the accused’s blameworthiness,” the judge added at the time.
Earlier in February 2018, the prisons service hanged another man for murdering his girlfriend and her son. At the time, it was the first execution in two years by the only southern African nation not to have abolished the death penalty.
West Africa considers abolishing death penalty – case of The Gambia
As Botswana was executing the convict, over in West Africa, The Gambia was also taking steps towards abolition of the measure. President Adama Barrow during the country’s 53rd Independence anniversary placed a moratorium on the death penalty.
“I will use this opportunity to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in The Gambia, as a first step towards abolition,” Barrow said in his Independence Day speech.
The last time the country used the measure was in 2012 when exiled leader Yahya Jammeh executed nine prisoners by firing squad. Jammeh fled Gambia in 2017 after a shock electoral defeat in December 2016.
An opposition coalition led by Barrow defeated him in a process he described as free and fair only to backtrack and dispute the results citing irregularities. An ECOWAS force had threatened to oust him after failed mediation by the regional bloc.