By Gwendoline Mugauri

At least 3000 p..." /> 3000 prisoners to be released on amnesty

3000 prisoners to be released on amnesty


By Gwendoline Mugauri

At least 3000 prisoners are set to benefit from the 2018 Presidential Amnesty in the next few days, following an order by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to grant amnesty to prisoners -  according to the Zimbabwean Constitution.        

Addressing journalists during a media briefing held in Harare yesterday, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Deputy Commissioner General responsible for Administration Dr Alford Dube outlined the 12 categories to be used in the selection of prisoners intended to benefit from the presidential amnesty.

“His Excellency the President has in terms of section 112(1)(a), (c) and (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe granted amnesty to prisoners as outlined in the following categories;

“Category A — remission of sentence for all convicted female prisoners where a full remission of the remaining period of imprisonment is hereby granted to all female prisoners, regardless of the offence committed, save for those sentenced to life imprisonment.

“Category B — remission of sentence of all juveniles — where full remission of the remaining period of imprisonment is hereby granted to all juvenile prisoners under the age of eighteen years serving terms of imprisonment irrespective of the offences they committed.”

In other categories, prisoners sentenced for a period of 36 months and below, who have served a quarter of their sentences by the date of the Government Gazette dated March 19 have been freed — provided they are not in the “excluded category”.

ZCPS said any habitual criminal serving a term of extended imprisonment; any person previously released on amnesty; any person serving a sentence imposed by a Court Martial; any person, who escaped from lawful custody and is still at large by the date of gazetting the order; and any person convicted of a specified offence — such as murder, treason, rape or any sexual offence, car-jacking, armed robbery among others — were excluded from the proposed amnesty.

All terminally ill prisoners serving long terms irrespective of offences committed will be released. Prisoners aged 60 and above, who would have served one third of their sentences, will be freed save for those sentenced to life imprisonment or death.

All prisoners serving a term of imprisonment at the open prison, as well as prisoners serving a sentence of imprisonment for stock theft, who would have served one third of their sentence by the gazetted date will be set free.

Male prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment before February 28, 1998 and female prisoners sentenced for the same on or before December 31, 2010 will also be released, while commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment will be granted to all prisoners, who have been on death row for 10 years and above.

Physically disabled prisoners — who rely on other persons to be moved around the prison or who make use of their hands to move around the prison — will be released, while an additional one quarter remission of the remaining effective period of imprisonment has been granted to all those prisoners sentenced to imprisonment for a period of more than 36 months and have served at least one third of the effective term of imprisonment.

Deputy Commissioner General Dube called on members of the civil society to assist in rehabilitation of the ex-offenders.

Meanwhile, contrary to previous media reports that former Zanu-Pf Bikita West legislator Dr Munyaradzi Kereke – who is serving a 9 year jail term for rape - had been transferred to an open prison, Deputy Commissioner General Dube dismissed the claims as false.         



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