Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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Masvingo’s 146 inmates released under presidential amnesty

 Blessed Chauke

A total
of 146 inmates were released in Masvingo province under presidential amnesty aimed
at reducing congestion at the county’s prisons in the face of the deadly
Covid-19 pandemic.

The
presidential amnesty will see about 3 000 prisoners who have been caged for
non-violent crimes being released from the country’s prisons which have been
accommodating over 22 000 inmates against a maximum carrying capacity of 17
000.

Zimbabwe
Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Masvingo provincial spokesperson Assistant
Principal Correctional Officer Stanslous Sanike said they have started
releasing prisoners in line with the presidential amnesty.

“In
Masvingo province, we have 146 inmates who were realised from prison. We have
inmates who were realised from Mutimurefu prison, Masvingo remand prison,
Chiredzi prison and other satellite prisons dotted around the province,” said
Sanike.

Sanike
said the release of the inmates will help to stop the spread of Covid-19 in
prisons.

“This
move will certainly help stop the spread of Covid-19 in prisons since they will
be decongested. I am happy to proclaim that even before their release, efforts
to contain the spread of the virus were in place and proved to be effective,” said
Sanike. 

Those to be released had been convicted of non-violent crimes
and those convicted of crimes such as murder, treason, human trafficking, and
sexual offenses will not benefit from the presidential amnesty.

The presidential amnesty will include a full remission of the
remaining period of imprisonment to be granted to all juveniles under the age
of 18, save for those convicted of specified offences. The prisoners should
have served at least one third of their sentences.

Remission of sentence for all females prisoners is also under
this presidential amnesty where a full remission of the remaining period of
imprisonment to be granted to all female prisoners and remission of sentence on
medical grounds to all prisoners who have been terminally ill for a prolonged
period without recovery.

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