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Zimbabwe bans death penalty

Last death sentence was carried 19 years ago

As Promised by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Zimbabwean cabinet has approved a proposal to abolish the death penalty, potentially sparing the lives of less than 100 prisoners on death row.

The country has had a moratorium on executions since 2005.

On Tuesday, the cabinet considered and approved a memorandum on the death penalty abolition bill, government spokesman Nick Mangwana said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The decision still needs to be cleared by parliament where the ruling Zanu-PF party enjoys an overwhelming majority.

Judges discretion

The country’s constitution gives judges the discretion to impose the death penalty for murder committed in aggravating circumstances.

It can only be handed to male offenders aged between 21 and 70 years.

Zimbabwe has executed 79 people since independence from Britain in 1980, according to official figures.

Of the 16-member states in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), seven have abolished the death penalty entirely.

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