Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner Paradzai Zimondi

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has granted amnesty to some 3,000 prisoners in a development aimed at helping decongest the country’s penal and reformatory facilities.

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) confirmed the General Amnesty order in a statement on Wednesday.

“It is now left to society to ensure that those released reintegrate safely and well within their respective communities,” ZPCS said.

Those to be freed under the clemency order include all convicted female prisoners, juveniles, prisoners sentenced to 36 months and below, those over the age of 60 as well as those convicted for stock theft.

Mnangagwa also exercised his prerogative of mercy to convicts under the open prison system and all those who are terminally ill and unlikely to survive their prison terms.

The prison service commended Mnangagwa for the development.

“The exercise has not only gone a long way in decongesting our prisons but has served as a reminder to inmates and society that the purpose of imprisonment is founded on the pretext of reformation than retribution,” ZPCS said in their statement.

“Whilst we as ZPCS would have made endeavours to rehabilitate the inmates, our efforts and (the president’s pardon) would be in vain if society fails to assist the returnees.

“We call upon all stakeholders, including families, churches … and society at large to assist the ex-offenders reintegration.” – NewZim