Zimbabwe’s cabinet has thrown its support behind a proposed bill aiming to abolish the death penalty, signalling a significant step towards ending capital punishment in the southern African nation.
According to Information Minister Jenfan Muswere, the cabinet’s decision comes after extensive consultations conducted nationwide. If the bill receives parliamentary approval, the maximum sentence will be life imprisonment.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has previously voiced opposition to capital punishment. In 1965, he received a death sentence for allegedly bombing a train during his resistance against white minority rule. However, Mr. Mnangagwa’s death sentence was later commuted after his legal team argued that he was underage at the time of the incident.
Zimbabwe’s use of the death penalty is a relic of colonial-era legislation. The country has not executed anyone since 2005.