Presidential amnesty benefits ZPCS.

 Staff Reporter

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has benefited immensely from the presidential amnesty that saw over 4000 inmates being released from prisons across the country.

According to a source, the release of prisoners through presidential amnesty has led to the decongestion of prisons making them easier to manage.

"The Harare Central Prison and Chikurubi Maximum had over 800 prisoners released through the Presidential Amnesty, and this has seen the decongestion of the prisons, which was the main reason why the amnesty took place," said the source.

The source further added that the overpopulation of the country’s prisons had seen inmates scrambling for little resources, causing tension among inmates. However, the presidential amnesty helped ease the challenges of resource shortages.

"Most of the former prisoners complained that the prisons lacked adequate food and health care supplies because of overpopulation. However, after the presidential amnesty, the conditions have improved at the country’s prisons, as inmates are now getting a fair share of food and other materials, including the sleeping conditions that have greatly improved because the prisons were decongested," said the source.

All women imprisoned for non-violent crimes who served a third of their sentences were released. Terminally ill people, regardless of the crime committed, also had their remaining sentences fully remitted.

Despite the misguided uproar by opposition trolls, who alleged that the Presidential Amnesty was a political stunt by President Mnangagwa, to solicit for electoral votes from those released.  The move was well within the constitutional law allowing the President upon consultation with the cabinet to exercise the power of mercy to prisoners.

Furthermore, the Government Gazette under sub-title ‘Remission of Prisoners Aged 60 years and above’, says that, “Full remission of the remaining period of imprisonment for prisoners aged sixty years and above and who would have served one tenth of their prison sentence by the 18th of April 2023, regardless of offence committed and save for those sentenced to life imprisonment, death or convicted for public violence,” This fits the foregoing sixty year-old plus convicts pardoned and released by President Mnangagwa’s amnesty.