The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is working towards the abolition of the death penalty in Zimbabwe.

In its bid to safeguard life as espoused in the Universal Declaration of Rights, the Zimbabwe government has been avoiding executing inmates on the death row and for over a decade it has been exercising a moratorium on executions.

This was revealed by an Acting Director in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mr Charles Paul Manhire on behalf of Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare today.

The question of the death sentence has been under serious debate for a while with some countries advocating for its total ban while others feel it has to continue to be applied in serious cases.

In the case of Zimbabwe the last executions were in 2005 as the country takes steps to end capital punishment.

Minister Ziyambi said the Justice Ministry has made further efforts to save those on the death row by requesting that authorities consider granting of clemency so that the death sentences imposed are commuted to life imprisonment.

Presently there are 81 prisoners on the death row and 127 prisoners serving life terms.

Last year 34 prisoners on death row had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment emphasizing Zimbabwe’s determination to move towards total abolition of the death penalty.

The 2013 Zimbabwean Constitution imposes a death penalty on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances.

The sentence is, however, not imposed on women, male persons who are under the age of 20 and over 70 years.