Zimbabwe considers scrapping death penalty

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Zimbabwe's vice president, who once faced the death penalty, says the country will consider scrapping capital punishment.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also the justice minister, called it "a flagrant violation of the right to life and dignity." Mnangagwa was sentenced to death during Zimbabwe's colonial era, only avoiding it because he was too young at the time.

The state-run Herald newspaper said Mnangagwa was speaking at an international meeting of justice ministers in Rome.

Last month, a group of death row inmates approached Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court bid to have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. The country of 13 million has nearly 100 death row inmates.

Zimbabwe's constitution says the death penalty only applies to males aged between 21 and 70 convicted of "murder committed in aggravating circumstances."