- Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa has pardoned 3000 prisoners, his office gave no reason for the act of clemency
- Zimbabwean prison officials said the move would help ease overcrowding in prisons
- Most female inmates, all juveniles and inmates with sentences of less than 3 years were released under the pardon
Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa has issued a presidential pardon to nearly 3000 prisons. His office, as is permitted under Zimbabwean law, did not give any reasons for the act of clemency.
Officials from the Zimbabwean Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) said the move would help overcrowding in prisons. ZPCS officials said at present there were about 20 000 inmates in the system which was designed for a maximum of 17 000.
The pardon includes all female inmates apart from those who were sentenced to death or are serving life terms, all juveniles and those with sentences of less than 3 years.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the last time prisoners were released en masse was in 2016. On that occasion president Robert Mugabe issued a pardon to prisoners because the ZPCS struggled to feed all the inmates due to lack of funding.
The move by Mnangagwa, who has built a reputation of being ruthless throughout his career, comes months before Zimbabwe holds its elections in July.
The election will be Mnangagwa’s first electoral test and the first time since Zimbabwe gained independence in which Robert Mugabe will not be on the ballot.
“I hope after all the processes we will go through, 3,000 people will benefit,” Alford Mashango, ZPCS’s assistant commissioner said.
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