Zimbabwe abolishes inherited colonial death penalty

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivers his speech in parliament during his State of the Nation address in Harare, Zimbabwe, Oct. 3, 2023.
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Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s cabinet agreed to abolish the death penalty for murder offences, almost two decades after its last execution.

The cabinet on Tuesday approved the Memorandum on the Private Member’s Death Penalty Abolition Bill introduced to parliament last year, bringing an end to the death penalty introduced in the southern African nation by British colonial administrators.

In an official statement, the Zimbabwean cabinet stressed the need to maintain a fair and balanced penal system, where aggravating circumstances can result in life sentences.

The last execution in Zimbabwe was in 2005, marking a decade and a half since the country renounced this controversial practice.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, himself a former death row inmate during the struggle for independence from British rule, played a central role in this historic decision.

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