PRESIDENT Edgar Chagwa Lungu has exercised his Prerogative of mercy on Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Four Inmates from various Correctional facilities across the country in commemoration of africa freedom day which falls on Monday 25th May 2020.
Delivering the Message at a Press Briefing in Lusaka today, Minister of Home Affairs Hon Stephen Kampyongo says those released include Two Thousand Nine Hundred and Three(2,903) ordinary, Fifty-Five(55) old aged, Three(03) Medical Cases, Eleven(11) compassionate, Nine(09) on HE’s pleasure and Twelve(12) Foreign Nationals.
“Among the pardoned, One hundred and fifty-five(155)are females while two thousand and eight hundred and twenty nine(2829) are males. The release of Two thousand, nine hundred and Eighty four (2,984) inmates today leaves the inmates population countrywide at nineteen thousand two hundred and forty eight (19,248)” Hon Kampyongo said.
Hon Kampyongo said that the President’s action is in accordance with article 97 of the constitution of the Republic of Zambia, which provides for Presidential pardon and substitution of severe punishments imposed on convicted persons.
Hon Kampyongo says that in an effort to further decongest Correctional Facilities in the light of the COVID-19 threat, the Ministry of Home Affairs engaged the Director of Public Prosecution(DPP) to consider giving Bail or outright discharge to some of the over 4000 and 300 and 30 unconvicted inmates charged with minor offences.
” You may wish to note that today, Zambia Correctional Services has an average inmate population of over 22, 200 against the actual combined holding capital of 9500. However, with the completion of the two ultra modern Correction facilities at Mwembeshi, the Congestion in the facilities would be lessened”Hon Kampyongo disclosed.
And Hon Kampyongo says that the Staff of the Zambia Correctional Service is confident that the pardoned persons have been rehabilitated and are ready for reintegration in society.