Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says the country could resume executions in response to rising murder rates.

The last execution in the southern African nation was in 2005.

Mugabe said Wednesday that although his cabinet is divided on the issue, he favors a resumption of executions. "Let's restore the death penalty," he said.

He did not say when it could happen.

Zimbabwe's law allows for the death penalty for people convicted of murder "in aggravating circumstances." Women and offenders younger than 17 and older than 70 are exempt.

Official figures say over 90 prisoners are on death row.

The hangman's job has been vacant for over a decade, but justice ministry permanent secretary Virgina Mabhiza last month said recent months have seen a "flood" of applications in the economically struggling nation.