Natural law ethics, Hunhuism and the concept of retributive justice among the Korekore- Nyombwe people of Northern Zimbabwe: An ethical investigation
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This work first looked at the evolution and power of natural law ethics and retributive justice in regulating human behaviour in contemporary society in general and in Korekore-Nyombwe culture in particular. This background was necessary for purposes of positioning the argument that retributive justice when applied to capital cases is a violation of natural law ethics and is alien to Shona culture. The death penalty was criticised in this work on the grounds that it has a retributive rather than a restorative function as upheld by the Shona/Korekore people. It was argued in this work that ngozi underlies the notion of ethics and supernatural ethics as hunhuism’s practice of restorative justice may be guided by ngozi. The work also looked at the convergence of criminal (human) law with natural law particularly regarding capital punishment, and it established that human laws have their origin and justification from natural law ethics, considered by this work to be the highest law in the universe. The common good thesis was invoked to try to reconcile both the retributive and restorative notions of justice, but in the final analysis it was established that restorative justice is more relevant and appealing to the Shona/Korekore society than is retributive justice; this is one reason to move towards repudiating the death sentence in Shona/Korekore society. Qualitative research was used to collect data in this work and this included the use of textbooks, journals, oral interviews and the internet. Data were also collected from seminar papers and presentations. In short, the work utilised interdisciplinary methods that integrated the philosophical and sociological approaches as expected at this level. It is hoped that three things will be accomplished by the findings of this work. First, the thesis will add currency to the growing calls for the abolition of the death penalty in Zimbabwe. Second, the thesis will show that abolitionist arguments can be much stronger and valid if supported by a theory such as natural law. An appeal can be made to natural law theories and the restorative justice argument when it comes to the moral implications of the death penalty in Zimbabwe’s Shona societies. This will offer a new and refreshing look at the morality of the death penalty in Zimbabwe. Third, the work will show that not only politicians and traditional leaders can participate in the death-penalty debates in Zimbabwe. Instead, there is need to engage all stakeholders that also include civic groups, academics, the church and ethicists.
natural law ethics