Lawmakers move to abolish death penalty
Publish date: 12 February 2024
Issue Number: 1063
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Sixty-two death row inmates in Zimbabwe could have their sentences commuted to life in prison when the government abolishes the death penalty later this year. This was revealed after the first Cabinet meeting of the year chaired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday. News24 reports that the abolition is due to come into effect through the Private Member's Death Penalty Abolition Bill. According to the Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting, ‘it is expected that the new law will impose lengthy sentences without violating the right to life’. Section 48 of the Zimbabwe Constitution currently states that the death penalty may be imposed only for murder committed under aggravating circumstances, and may only be pronounced on men aged between 21 to 70. Government records show that there are still 62 inmates on death row. As of last year, the death sentence was still used in 30 countries on the continent.