Zim Ministry Seeks Mnangagwa’s Authorization To Free 2000 Inmates

Zimbabwean correctional services authorities are apparently seeking President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s clearance to release at least 2 000 inmates in-order to ease congestion in the country’s overloaded prisons.

According to the state-owned Chronicle newspaper, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi said that the release of the prisoners was a priority of his ministry’s 100 day plan.

Ziyambi also stated that his ministry is working on clearing the 374 mentally ill prisoners to reduce the congestion.

“We want the president as a goodwill gesture to pardon some of the prisoners so that we reduce the prison overload and we hope that within the next 100 days, we will have the president’s consent to pardon some of the prisoners,” he said.

He said the country’s prisons are extremely packed, as they are at least harbouring roughly about 19 000 prisoners, more than 2000 of their intended capacity.

The country often pardons prisoners in an attempt to free up space in its overcrowded prisons.

In 2016, at least 2000 prisoners were released, with authorities pleading with them not to return to the life of crime. These were males under 18 and all female inmates, excluding two who were serving life sentences. This was also extended to terminally ill prisoners and those who had served at least a quarter of their 3-year sentence.

The amnesty excluded prisoners jailed for murder, treason, rape, armed robbery, car-jacking or sexual offences.

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