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Zimbabwe Cabinet Agrees to Abolish Death Penalty 19 Years After Last Execution

Zimbabwe would join 26 other African countries that have abolished the colonial-era death penalty.

Zimbabwe’s Cabinet on Tuesday backed a legislation to do away with the death penalty, nearly two decades after the last execution.

While the country has not carried out any execution since 2005, persons found guilty of aggravated murder can still be sentenced to death. Dozens of convicts are currently on death row.

“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,” said Information Minister Jenfan Muswere.

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It is not immediately clear when the southern African country’s parliament, where the ruling ZANU-PF party holds a large majority will vote on the legislation. But President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been pushing to end the death penalty as he was once sentenced to death in the 1960s for blowing up a train during the guerrilla war for independence.

Should the legislation be passed, Zimbabwe would join 26 other African countries that have abolished the colonial-era death penalty.

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