Prisons congested, minister requests pardon


Margaret Matibiri Herald Correspondent
Government has revealed that the country’s prisons are congested, with an excess of 2 000 inmates. In terms of Section 112 (1) (a) and (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the President has the right to release prisoners on amnesty.

It’s a tradition that the President pardons prisoners at the beginning of each year, and the ministry is banking on prisons being de-congested through that process. Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the request will be done as part of his ministry’s 100-day plan.

“We are requesting the President, as a goodwill gesture, to pardon some of the prisoners in order to ease the prison overload and we hope that within the next 100 days, we would have appealed to the President and he would have consented to pardoning some of the prisoners,” he said.

“The prison population is a little above 19 000 yet our prisons’ holding capacity is 17 000 and this goes to show the nature of the congestion. We are looking at specific categories to benefit from this exercise, the mental patients in custody, immigrants and prisoners above 80 years. As well as some immigration cases.”

In May last year, more than 2 000 inmates were pardoned. Minister Ziyambi said his ministry, which administers deeds, will as part of their 100-day-plan make information on properties accessible online.

“As part of our 100-day plan, my ministry is seeing to it that all title deeds information is being uploaded online and after all that is successfully done, our product and data processing software will enable investors to simply view all the title deeds information online instead of going to the deeds office,” he said.

“This system will make it easy for people to view authentic information about the properties they want to buy at no cost, hence it will stimulate local and international investors.”

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