Zimbabwe cabinet scraps colonial-era death penalty law

Wednesday February 07 2024

President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on as he addresses a press conference at state house in Harare, Zimbabwe on August 27, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


Zimbabwe's cabinet on Tuesday agreed to abolish the death penalty following months of debate in parliament, choosing instead to impose lengthy prison sentences for the worst offences.

The cabinet passed a private member's bill introduced last year in the National Assembly to abolish the death penalty inherited from British colonial rule.

"In view of the need to retain the deterrent element in sentencing murderers, it is expected that the new law will impose lengthy sentences without violating the right to life," the cabinet said in a statement.

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"The existence of aggravating circumstances may attract life sentences."

Zimbabwe carried out its last execution in 2005.


President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was once put on the death row during the struggle for independence against British rule, has been pushing to end the death penalty.