Sunday, February 25, 2018

Good news for jailbirds

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Cabinet has extended amnesty to some prisoners as Government moves to decongest correctional facilities.
Zimbabwe’s prisons have a holding capacity of about 17 000, but presently hold around 20 000 inmates.
President Emmerson Mnangwgwa, who is opposed to the death sentence, will soon sanction the release of some inmates.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi (PICTURED) last week said: “The 2018 Clemency Order was approved by Cabinet. It now awaits gazetting in terms of the law. The amnesty and, subsequently, the amnesty process will be put in motion administratively by all relevant stakeholders.” The amnesty is in terms of Section 112(1)(a) and (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Minister Ziyambi said the number and categories of inmates benefiting from the amnesty would be determined by the Clemency Order.
“We do not have any bias on ‘prominent people’ or political or socio-economic classes. In short, our inmates are all equal.
‘‘Qualifying inmates are determined by categories provided in the Clemency Order.”
Minister Ziyambi appealed for society to accept former inmates.
Usually, inmates sentenced to imprisonment for 36 months or less, and who have served a quarter of their jail term, and terminally-ill prisoners irrespective of offences committed, qualify for amnesty.
Further, inmates above age 70, regardless of offences committed save for those sentenced to death, also qualify.