Zim moving towards 'total elimination' of death penalty – VP

2016-02-24 15:10
Emmerson Mnangagwa (File: AFP)

Emmerson Mnangagwa (File: AFP)

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Harare - Zimbabwean Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the southern African country is moving towards the "total elimination"of the death penalty, reports the state-owned Herald newspaper.

Mnangagwa is a leading critic of capital punishment after he reportedly survived the death penalty under the Rhodesian regime during the 1970s. 

Mnangagwa told delegates at the 9th International Meeting of the Ministers of Justice in Italy on Tuesday that Zimbabwe was in the process of abolishing the death penalty after amendments were made to the country's statutes. The recent amendments saw women and young people under the age of 21 being exempted from receiving death sentences.

Mnangagwa said the death penalty was a violation of human rights. 

"Having survived the death penalty myself, I know the tribulations faced by those on death row. The moment a sentence is pronounced that you are going to die by hanging, the whole world collapses on you. The death penalty is, in fact, a flagrant violation of the right to life," Mnangagwa was quoted saying.

Mnangagwa who doubles as the country's minister of justice recently refused to sign any execution orders for Zimbabwe's nearly 100 death row inmates due to his personal objections to the death penalty.

The death penalty is only handed down to men convicted of murder.

Read more on:    emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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