Cabinet approves General Amnesty to decongest prisons
CABINET yesterday considered and approved the General Amnesty 2022 proposed by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Dates for the release of inmates on amnesty will be provided once a Presidential proclamation has beenmade.
The move to release some inmates on amnesty is aimed at decongesting prisons to ensure the health of inmates.
Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the Constitution provides that the President, after consultations with Cabinet, may pardon any person convicted of an offence against the law.
“The rationale behind the proposal is to decongest our prisons, whose population as at August 29, 2022 stood at 22 114, against an official holding capacity of 17 000 inmates.
“This situation means that 4 798 inmates do not have adequate floor space as required by the Constitution, and this compromises the health of inmates, among other challenges,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The amnesty excludes the following categories of prisoners; those previously released on amnesty, those serving a sentence imposed by court martial, those with a record of escaping from lawful custody, and those convicted of committing specified offences.
Specified offences include murder, treason, rape or any sexual offences, carjacking, robbery, public violence, human trafficking, unlawful possession of firearms, contravention of the Zesa Act, the PTC Act and Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA), and any conspiracy, incitement or attempt to commit any of these offences.