Government set to free 5 000 prisoners
By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE is set to free up to 5 000 prisoners from the country’s congested jails which are holding 22 000 inmates against a carrying capacity of 17 000.
This was announced at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare Tuesday by Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa.
“Cabinet noted that the country’s prison population currently is standing at 22 000 against an official holding capacity of 17 000,” Mutsvangwa said.
“The general amnesty, which will be for specified prisoners, will decongest the country’s prisons and alleviate challenges being experienced by the Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS).”
Those set to benefit from the parole are in nine categories designated by government.
The country last had an amnesty in March 2018 when up to 3,000 prisoners were freed.
During the amnesty, all women, except those with life sentences, and all juvenile prisoners under the age of 18 were granted freed.
The parole also covered inmates who were jailed for periods below 36 months who have served a quarter of their terms.
Terminally ill inmates who looked unlikely to survive their terms were also be freed.
At the time, the country’s prisons held about 20,000 inmates.
Inmates on death row for more than 10 years also had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
In May 2016, 2,000 prisoners were released to make space in Zimbabwean prisons.