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Why Mnangagwa will not sign any death warrants

Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa says he will not sign any death warrants because he believes that the death penalty is unfair. The new constitution provides for the death penalty though it spares women and those below 21 or above 70. There are 97 prisoners on death row in Zimbabwe and only one is a woman. Mnangagwa, who was once sentenced to death, says the death penalty should have been abolished a long time ago. “I know there are a lot of people … who believe in the death penalty; I don’t! The difference between you and me is you have not been sentenced to death. I have been sentenced to death so I know what I am talking about.” Mnangagwa was sentenced to death in 1965 when he was convicted of acts of terrorism for his role as a member of the Crocodile Gang that was responsible for killing at least one white farmer and sabotaging Rhodesian government operations. Mnangagwa was one of the first cadres to receive military training in Egypt and China and to operate in the then Rhodesia. When members of the gang were sentenced to death Mnangagwa was spared from hanging because he was under the age of 21. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment instead.

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