Zimbabwe Abolishes Death Penalty

Zimbabwe’s parliament has voted to abolish the death penalty, the law of which was inherited from British colonial rule. Instead of the death penalty, those who commit what the nation considers to be the worst offences will receive lengthy prison sentences.

“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” -Zimbabwe’s National Cabinet

The last time Zimbabwe had carried out an execution was almost 20 years ago, in 2005.

The abolishment of the death penalty has been strongly pushed for by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been sentenced to death by the British/Rhodesian administration in 1965 for blowing up a train in 1964. However, his lawyers successfully argued that since he was under 21, the minimum age for execution, that he could not be executed. His death sentence was replaced with a 10 year prison sentence.