EIGHTY-SEVEN female prisoners were released from Chikurubi Prison this Thursday following a presidential amnesty granted by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Shylet Sibanda, aged 32, never imagined she would taste freedom after being sentenced to life in 2010 for murder but thanks to a presidential amnesty, she is out of the woods.
Shylet and other female prisoners were all smiles after being released from prison today.
“I never thought I would be out prison but today um free,” said Shylet.
For Tendekai Muza who was imprisoned while pregnant, life in prison was particularly difficult.
“It’s difficult to stay in prison with a child, I was sentenced while I was pregnant and now the child is 9 years one month,” she said.
The most prominent prisoner to be released was MDC-T activist Yvonne Musarurwa who was jailed for 20 years along with others for the murder of policeman Petros Mutedza.
Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Banda said only 9 of the female prisoners at Chikurubi failed to qualify for the amnesty.
“We thank you crocodile (referring to the President),” chanted the women praising the President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the amnesty, before being whisked off to freedom aboard a ZPCS truck.
The general amnesty will relieve pressure on prisons which were accommodating 20 000 prisoners against a holding capacity of 17 000 prisoners.