HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The job of hangman used to be unpopular in Zimbabwe. Now the government says more than 50 people have applied to be the state's executioner in a country where employment is hard to find.

Virginia Mabhiza, permanent secretary in the justice ministry, said Thursday that there had been a "flood" of applications in recent months for a job that was vacant for more than a decade because of lack of interest.

Mabhiza said Zimbabwe is moving toward abolishing the death penalty, although there are over 90 prisoners currently on death row. The last execution was in 2005.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was also justice minister until a Cabinet reshuffle on Oct. 9, has said he would not authorize any executions because he opposed the death sentence.